‘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

‘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.”

 


Ibrahimovic’s return to training with Sweden’s Hammarby sparks rumors about future

Updated 10 April 2020

Ibrahimovic’s return to training with Sweden’s Hammarby sparks rumors about future

STOCKHOLM: AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return to training in Sweden with Hammarby, the club he part owns, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to lockdown Italy, has fueled speculation regarding his future.

Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported the 38-year-old Ibrahimovic will choose against renewing his Milan deal which finishes at the end of the season.

The Swedish outfit’s president, Richard Von Yxkull, said the decision was in the hands of the attacker who played 116 times for his country before retiring from international duty in 2016.

“It’s about knowing how Zlatan sees his future and what he wants to do,” Von Yxkull told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Earlier in April the Spanish, Italian, French and Dutch league winner said he wanted to stay in the game after retiring.

“I want to learn something new about football, with a different angle. I will contribute from the sidelines, not on the pitch,” he told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

Ibrahimovic’s last Milan appearance was the loss to Genoa on March 8.

All football in Italy has been suspended due to the coronavirus which has claimed the lives of nearly 18,000 people in the country.

Measures to fight the outbreak in Sweden are lighter which have allowed Ibrahimovic to train with Stockholm’s Hammarby, a side which he bought a 25-percent share in last November.

Ibrahimovic started his career with hometown club Malmo before trophy-laden spells with some of the world’s biggest outfits including Juventus, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain before rejoining Milan in January.