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Tyson Fury Vacated a Belt to Win It Back From Oleksandr Usyk and Equal Record

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Tyson Fury cleverly outmaneuvered all by relinquishing his Ring Magazine title amid his 2022 announcement of ‘retirement’.

After his knockout victory over Dillian Whyte in April of that year, Tyson Fury declared his departure from boxing, marking yet another chapter in his career filled with brief retirements.

Skepticism surrounded this announcement, as it wasn’t the first time Fury had claimed to be stepping away from the sport. He first hinted at retirement in 2013, expressing frustration over the cancellation of a fight with David Haye.

He made a brief retirement announcement again in 2015 when his match against Wladimir Klitschko was delayed, only to return and defeat Klitschko, later taking a more extended break from boxing due to personal challenges, including mental health struggles and substance misuse.

Fury made a triumphant return in 2018, claiming the WBC heavyweight title from Deontay Wilder in 2020. Their fight was also for the vacant Ring Magazine title, which is seen more as a prestigious award rather than a conventional title, awarded by the magazine’s editors for matchups they deem as the best versus the best.

Fury had previously won and then been stripped of the Ring belt during his hiatus. After successfully defending the WBC and Ring titles against Wilder and then Whyte, he faced calls to vacate his titles upon announcing his retirement.

Despite initially resisting these calls, Fury relinquished the Ring belt in August 2022. This move, interpreted by some as a sign of his genuine retirement, was actually a strategic play. His vacating the title enabled the belt to be contested in the rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua, a bout that Usyk emerged victorious from.

“I gave up that belt so that they could fight for it. You know why? Because I’m gonna become a three-time Ring Magazine heavyweight champion. That’s how confident I am of battering Usyk,” Fury told SecondsOut a month later.

The fight between Fury and Usyk is officially set for May 18, offering Fury the chance to carve his name alongside Muhammad Ali as the only fighters to have won the Ring Magazine championship three times.

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