The latest retirement announcement by Tyson Fury has prompted action by his last remaining tie to the sport.

It also significantly impacts the importance of three relevant heavyweight fights all scheduled within the next nine weeks.

A two-week deadline has been issued by the World Boxing Council (WBC) for Fury to confirm in writing his official status in the sport. The unbeaten lineal/WBC heavyweight champion from Morecambe, England by way of Manchester recently went public with his insistence that he is forever done with the sport, the declaration coming on his 34th birthday last Friday.

Seeing as how this speech has come several times before, the lone sanctioning body whose title he still possesses will prefer something more binding this time around.

“The World Boxing Council has been in communications with Tyson Fury and his promoters regarding his status as WBC heavyweight champion,” longtime WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman stated. “The WBC has set Friday, [A]ugust 26th as the final day to receive official written confirmation from them.

“No further comments will be made by our organization until then.”

The push by the WBC to get Fury (32-0-1, 23KOs) to fully commit to either severing all ties with the sport or walking back his retirement could potentially have the title available for one of two fights currently scheduled for the fall.

Wilder is the sanctioning body’s number-one contender and in the process of finalizing terms for his targeted October 15 ring return. As previously reported, Robert Helenius—ranked number-nine by the WBC—is the frontrunner to land the assignment.

WBC number four-ranked Frank Sanchez is also rumored to appear on the October 15 show featuring Wilder.

England’s Joe Joyce and New Zealand’s Joseph Parker—number two and three in the WBC, respectively—are set to collide on September 24. Joyce is the mandatory challenger for the WBO, which ranks Parker at number two. Fighting for the vacant title would certainly be a worth trade-off for Joyce to give up his spot in line for a crack at the winner of  the Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua heavyweight championship rematch, if there is a choice to be made. 

The alternative would be to declare both fights as a four-man boxoff, ordering the winners to face each other. 

Meanwhile, at least one symbolic title previously in Fury's clutches will be made available this weekend.

Fury has taken more pride in boasting lineal championship status than nearly any other boxer in recent memory. He was equally proud of carrying The Ring magazine heavyweight title, which was the first physical (if symbolic) title he relinquished upon his latest retirement speech. Confirmation was provided to the publication, an important distinction and allowing for the belt to be on the line for this weekend’s Usyk-Joshua rematch, which already includes Usyk’s WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO titles on the line.

Fury (32-0-1, 23KOs) won the WBC and Ring heavyweight title in a seventh-round knockout of Deontay Wilder in their February 2020 rematch at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The feat also reestablished heavyweight championship lineage which was broken following his first “retirement” from boxing in 2016 in the midst of a backdated two-year suspension stemming from a 2015 positive drug test.

Two title defenses have followed for the unbeaten 6’9” heavyweight, both ending inside the distance.

Fury survived two knockdowns to score three of his own in an eleventh-round knockout of Deontay Wilder in their epic trilogy clash last October in the universally hailed 2021 Fight of the Year. The win was followed by a sixth-round knockout of countryman and mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte on April 23 in front of 94,000 fans at Wembley Stadium, immediately after which Fury insisted that he was done with the sport.

Most observers dismissed the claim, such skepticism validated when talks surfaced of his fighting later this year. There was also the hope of his challenging the winner of the Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua rematch—which takes place Saturday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia—in hopes of crowning an undisputed champion.

As only he could do, Fury took a drastic detour from that conversation. He instead claimed to be seeking a third fight with Derek Chisora, a veteran gatekeeper whom he twice before handled. There was minimal interest in such a fight and plenty of public posturing from the pair of British heavyweights.

Talks of such a fight died on the vine, with Fury claiming his departure from boxing soon thereafter. 

Fury’s first championship reign came in a November 2015 unanimous decision win over Wladimir Klitschko in Dusseldorf, Germany. The upset road win saw Fury claim the lineal/WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight championship, though never successfully defending any of the titles.

The IBF title was the first to become available, when Fury refused to honor a ridiculous demand for an immediate mandatory title defense against Vyacheslav Glazkov. The remaining titles were to be at stake for Fury’s rematch with Klitschko, which was twice postponed and eventually canceled outright in marking the beginning of the end of his first championship reign.

Fury reportedly suffered an injury to postpone their scheduled July 2016 clash, before torching plans—and his career—after testing positive for cocaine as discovered through random pre-fight drug testing. The development came as it was learned that Fury also tested positive for nandrolone surrounding a February 2015 win over Christian Hammer. The development wasn’t learned until well after his win over Klitschko, though eventually coming with the punishment of a two-year ban.

By then, Fury had relinquished all remaining alphabet titles. There was confusion as to whether he would never fight again, frequently walking back such claims over the course of his 30-plus month ring absence while also battling alcoholism, substance abuse and severe depression.

Fury is in a much better place mentally, physically and financially this time around. Given that, there is greater belief that he could be done for good and off to the next chapter in his life. That will come for sure by no later than August 26, if the WBC’s deadline is to be honored.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox