‘Guess who’s back?’: Fury’s return rouses heavyweight scene

Tyson Fury is all smiles after it was confirmed he is free to resume his boxing career. (AFP)
Updated 14 December 2017
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‘Guess who’s back?’: Fury’s return rouses heavyweight scene

LONDON: The heavyweight division just got even more interesting.
Only a few minutes had passed after the news broke that Tyson Fury was free to box again, following his long-running dispute with Britain’s anti-doping agency, when the man himself took to Twitter.
“Guess who’s back?” Fury tweeted.
Next to those words was a video of him grooving to tunes inside a car.
It was a novel way for someone to react to being found guilty of a doping offense. Then again, Fury is one of a kind.
And that is what makes his imminent return to the ring — subject to him regaining his boxing license — all the more exciting.
The heavyweight scene has been revived since Fury beat Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 to win the WBA, IBF, and WBO belts. The Klitschko brothers — Wladimir and Vitali — were regarded as boring, with their dual, decade-long dominance a turn-off.
Now, the division boasts a new breed of fighters, champions from three different continents in Britain’s Anthony Joshua (WBA and IBF), America’s Deontay Wilder (WBC) and New Zealand’s Joseph Parker (WBO).
Then there’s Fury, back to stir things up even more.
The loudmouth Briton and his cousin Hughie accepted backdated two-year doping bans on Tuesday after providing elevated levels of nandrolone in urine samples following fights in February 2015. Both boxers said they “never knowingly or deliberately committed any anti-doping rule violation” and were willing to come to a compromise agreement with UK Anti-Doping in what proved a convoluted, drawn-out case.
The bans were backdated to Dec. 13, 2015, and expired at midnight on Tuesday.
Fury must get back his license, which was suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control last year over separate incidents of drug use and medical issues, but is now a major player among the heavyweights.
Soon after his “Guess who’s back?” tweet, he called out Joshua by writing: “Where you at boy? I’m coming for you.”
Joshua is likely to fight Parker or Wilder next, potentially in the summer of 2018, but — in Britain, at least — the box office fight would be Joshua vs. Fury, which would be promoted as the national treasure taking on the bad boy. Both are unbeaten as professionals and have contrasting fighting styles.
“Next year I will be back doing what I do best, better than ever and ready to reclaim the world titles which are rightfully mine,” Fury said in a statement from his promoter. “It’s time to get the party started.”
Fury will need to shed the pounds, having bloated up to 350 pounds (nearly 160 kilograms), and has posted videos recently of him working in the gym. He will also need some fights to get sharp enough and mentally ready to handle the likes of Joshua and Parker.
But Fury prides himself on being a natural boxer — he comes from a bloodline of bare-knuckle Gypsy fighters — and doesn’t believe it will take long to be back to his best.
“I’ll fight my way back, nice and steady — 2018 is going to be a big year, a turnaround year,” he said on British TV show “Soccer PM” on Saturday. “Two years out of the ring. There’s only been Muhammad Ali and maybe a couple of others who have come back after two years (out) and been successful. And they probably didn’t live the life I’ve lived outside boxing.
“Outside boxing, I’m not an athlete at all. I’m not an athlete in boxing! So it’s going to be a hard road back, but I’m more than capable of doing it.”
 


“Captain fantastic” Harry Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the death

Updated 48 min 4 sec ago
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“Captain fantastic” Harry Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the death

  • Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner
  • England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes

VOLGOGRAD, Russia: Captain Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner, as England began their World Cup Group G campaign with a stuttering 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday.
Gareth Southgate’s men almost paid a heavy price for missing a slew of first-half chances when Tunisia’s Ferjani Sassi slotted home a softly-awarded penalty 20 minutes before half-time.
And the north Africans were still level as the game went past the 90-minute mark.
But Harry Maguire won a header from a corner and Kane was on hand at the far post to nod in the winner before being mobbed by his ecstatic teammates.
“I’m so proud of the lads,” Kane said. “They kept going, kept going to the last second.
“I am absolutely buzzing, everyone on the staff is. It shows good character to get the job done.”
England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes.
First Jordan Henderson’s lofted first-time pass released Dele Alli and when the ball eventually broke to Jesse Lingard he saw his shot from six yards saved by the outstretched left boot of Mouez Hassen in the Tunisia goal.
Kane had been kept quiet in the opening salvos but he exploded into action in the 11th minute when he cut inside from the left and saw his shot from the edge of the box deflected wide for a corner.
Ashley Young delivered the set piece for John Stones to rise highest and meet with a powerful header. Hassen saved acrobatically but Kane was on hand to tap home the rebound with his right foot and open his World Cup account.
Hassen, who had injured his left shoulder making an earlier save, could not continue and left the field in tears as he was replaced in goal by Farouk Ben Mustapha.
England continued to press and were made to pay for not converting a succession of chances when they conceded a soft penalty.
Kyle Walker swung a lazy arm across Fakhreddine Ben Youssef who fell as if poleaxed and Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan pointed to the spot, with his decision being upheld by the VAR.
Ferjani Sassi took one step and fired home confidently past the hitherto unemployed Jordan Pickford and Tunisia who had been outplayed for the first half-hour were somehow level 10 minutes before half-time.
Still there was time for Lingard to come close again twice, first from a goalbound shot and then a dink over the keeper which agonizingly struck the post.
Alli too hit the woodwork with a header and England went into half-time wondering how they had not sealed victory already.
England still enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but could not find the same zip and penetration they had enjoyed at the start of the first half.
The ineffective Sterling gave way to Marcus Rashford with just over 20 minutes to go and the Manchester United man almost fashioned a chance straight away with a jinking run into the box.