By Keith Idec
Tyson Fury’s long-awaited return to the ring was officially confirmed Thursday at a press conference in London.
Frank Warren, Fury’s new promoter, announced that the former heavyweight champion’s comeback bout will take place June 9 in Manchester, England. An opponent for Fury hasn’t been secured, but Warren stated that Fury’s foe will be revealed soon.
The 6-feet-9 Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) hasn’t fought since he upset Wladimir Klitschko to win the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles in November 2015. Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs) was a 4-1 favorite entering that bout, but Fury out-boxed him to win a unanimous decision in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The 29-year-old Fury’s immediate rematch with Klitschko was postponed twice. Those delays eventually led to Fury giving up his titles to seek treatment for alcoholism, drug addiction and depression.
Fury has been very vocal about returning to the ring to fight undefeated knockout artist Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs), who has emerged as a superstar in the United Kingdom since Fury last fought. Joshua now owns the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles Fury won from Klitschko, who was stopped by Joshua in the 11th round of their memorable battle last April 29 at a sold-out Wembley Stadium in London.
Fury is expected to face a much less imposing opponent than Joshua on June 9 in what will be his first fight in 2½ years.
He has been training regularly for his much-discussed return since January, when the British Boxing Board of Control announced it would lift Fury’s suspension and license him to fight.
“There will be no rush,” Warren said, according to London’s Daily Mail. “We want Tyson to be in the best possible physical and mental condition. I will be choosing the opponents, but the day for Joshua will happen. Tyson is a great boxer and all he needs is to get fighting fit to regain the titles he never lost in the ring and are rightfully his.
“[The Joshua fight] will happen after three or four fights. When the time is right, we will press the button.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.