TYSON FURY has been given a 10 day deadline by the WBO to provide evidence of why he should not be stripped of their heavyweight world title.
Fury, who took the title (along with the WBA and IBF straps) from Wladimir Klitschko last November, must provide notice as to why the belt should not be vacated due to ‘inactivity, breach of contract and performance-enhancing drugs.’
Should he fail to provide sufficient evidence, the WBO have advised him that he will be stripped of their title.
The 28-year-old has twice withdrawn from his rematch with Klitschko, firstly because of an ankle injury and more recently because of his current battle with depression. He has not fought since their first meeting.
WBO chairman Luis Batista-Salas said he was concerned for Fury’s “health, well-being, happiness and prospects for a full and complete recovery”.
The WBO also raised the issue of a VADA drug test report which had adverse analytical findings on September 22, and that the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) notified the WBO that Fury refused to be tested the week prior to September 22.
Fury has categorically denied the drug allegations he has faced in the past, though did admit in a recent interview with Rolling Stone that he took cocaine to try and cope with his depression.
The BBBofC are set to meet tomorrow to address Fury’s cocaine admission, and may decide to strip him of his licence to box.
Should Fury be stripped of his WBO title, Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz would contest the belt. Parker, also No 1 with the IBF, recently met with Ruiz’ promoter Bob Arum and hinted at some ‘big news’ coming.
Fury, who has said he is receiving help for his current struggles, may decide to vacate his WBA and WBO titles, provided both governing bodies make him a ‘Champion in Recess’ and allow him to fight for the titles upon his return to the ring.