- Tyson Fury has postponed his heavyweight world title rematch with Wladimir Klitschko scheduled for July 9 at the Manchester Arena
- Defending champion has sprained his ankle during training in Lake District
- Fury made the announcement via a short video on his Instagram account
- His trainer Peter Fury posted pictures of his bruised and swollen ankle
- Fury stunned Klitschko when he won on points in Dusseldorf in November
Forests of quizzical eyebrows were raised when Tyson Fury pulled out of his world heavyweight title rematch with Wladimir Klitschko but his TV paymaster Frank Warren has confirmed the ankle injury is genuine and the fight will be rescheduled.
Suspicions initially ran deepest in the Austrian Tyrol where Klitschko has been training intensively for his bid to regain the championship belts which Manchester’s Gipsy King prised from him in a huge upset in Germany.
However, the man who dominated the heavyweight division for a decade has accepted the delay, saying: ‘Of course I am currently totally disappointed. I also feel sorry for my fans who were very excited. But this just means I’ll get my belts back a few weeks later.’
The new working date is October 29, again at the Manchester Arena.
Warren, despite his own disappointment at a cancellation so close to the fight date of July 9, reports that Fury has no option but to withdraw.
As Fury posted pictures of his bruised and swollen ankle on his Instagram site, Warren, head of the BoxNation subscription channel, said: ‘There is no way Tyson could have boxed in the next couple of weeks. He went over on the ankle while running. We’re all gutted this has happened. It has cost us a fortune but we will get it back on.’
Fury had ballooned up to more than three stones over his fighting weight before going into training and there have been reports that he broke camp briefly to attend a rave in Anglesea. Then he posed for selfies with fans in a pub there on Monday as he watched England’s European Championship match against Slovakia.
However, Fury, who was in prime condition at his training camp in Holland two weeks ago, told his supporters: ‘I got a little bad news for you all. Almost 10 days ago I was running in the Lake District and I went over and sprained my ankle. Been to hospital. Had X-rays and MRI scans.
‘Not broken but I was told to keep off it for six to seven weeks. Tried to train a bit but a second opinion was the same. So sorry to let all my fans down and apologies to everyone who’s booked the date.’
The postponement will not be helpful to Klitschko, given the strain of perfecting preparations at the age of 40.
But Fury’s promoter Mick Hennessy says: ‘There is no way we could let Tyson fight a man like Klitschko when anything less than 100 per cent fit. And we will rearrange the fight.’
There had also been rumours that tickets were not going well but Warren reports: ‘We had sold more than 17,000, which left only a couple of thousand remaining.’
Tickets already purchased will be honoured in October.
Klitschko’s manager, Bernd Boente, says: ‘This is unfortunate. Wladimir was in great form. But we will be ready to go to Manchester on the new date.’
Earlier in the day, Fury responded angrily to Klitschko likening him to Adolf Hitler. Klitschko made that stark comparison after reading Fury’s views on Jewish people.
As a member of the travelling community, Fury responded: ‘You recently said I’m like Hitler. Wladimir has no education in the matter. He does not realise Hitler killed hundreds of thousands of gypsies, if not millions.
‘A lot of my ancestors were mass-murdered by Hitler. To call me that is a very, very bad insult, friend. Let’s not forget that your people the Ukrainians were the guards in the death camps where my people were slaughtered. You stupid f****** Ukrainian p****.’
There was much hype and mutual promotional baiting before the November fight in Dusseldorf.
Now the bad blood is for real.
Fury v Klitschko will be televised live on BoxNation, most likely on Saturday, October 29.
Photo: Getty Images / Tyson Fury’s war of words with Wladimir Klitschko has continued ahead of their world heavyweight title bout
Fury has hit out at Klitschko once again on Instagram, describing him as a ‘stupid f****** Ukrainian p****’