Tyson Fury has voluntarily given up his WBO and WBA world heavyweight titles with immediate effect.
The British boxer recently withdrew from a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko for the second time, after being declared “medically unfit” to fight.
Fury reportedly failed a drugs test in the US and confessed in an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, that he “done lots of cocaine” in a bid to battle depression.
The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) were set to discuss removing Fury’s licence, which would have seen him stripped of the belts, but the boxer has done so voluntarily.
“I feel that it is only fair and right and for the good of boxing to keep the titles active and allow the other contenders to fight for the vacant belts that I proudly won and held as the undefeated heavyweight champion of the world when I defeated the long-standing champion Wladimir Klitschko,” Tyson said in a statement.
“I won the titles in the ring and I believe that they should be lost in the ring, but I’m unable to defend at this time and I have taken the hard and emotional decision to now officially vacate my treasured world titles and wish the next in-line contenders all the very best as I now enter another big challenge in my life which I know, like against Klitschko, I will conquer.”
The 28-year-old’s promoter, Mick Hennessy, added: “Tyson will still be the lineal world heavyweight champion in everyone’s eyes. He beat the most dominant champion in the modern era of boxing on an amazing night in Germany to earn that accolade and that will never change.
“Whilst it’s heartbreaking to see Tyson vacate the world titles that he worked so long and hard for all his life, what’s paramount now is that he receives the medical treatment along with the love of his family and friends and the support of the boxing world to make a full recovery.”