Tyson Fury announced his retirement in April, but it doesn’t appear the heavyweight champion’s hiatus will last long.
Since Fury’s sixth-round TKO win over Dillian Whyte in April in London, “The Gypsy King” has repeatedly flip-flopped between expressing his desire to fight again and remain retired.
Earlier this summer, Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) claimed the only way he would come out of retirement is for a $500 million purse. Now, in a drastic shift, Fury claimed on Wednesday that he’ll step inside the ropes again only for a bout with rival Anthony Joshua in the United Kingdom — for free.
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“That’s how the fight happens, I’ll sign the contract today,” Fury, 33, said on his Instagram. “The fight’s got to be for free. Free-to-air television and all tickets go for free. No money is to be made out of this British historic fight if it happens. There’s the terms, I’m in the driving seat, take it or effing leave it. The ball is in your court, guys. … Either way, I don’t give a damn.”
Of course, this is completely contradictory to Fury’s contentious negotiations with Joshua last year for a fight that was ultimately scrapped when an arbitrator ruled Fury owed Deontay Wilder a third fight. Saudi Arabia officials were prepared to dole out more than $150 million for the rights to that undisputed heavyweight championship fight.
Instead, Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) went on to lose his three heavyweight titles to Oleksandr Usyk in September, and Fury proceeded to knock out Wilder in a trilogy battle one month later.
Now, Usyk and Joshua, 32, are set to rematch on Aug. 20 in Saudi Arabia, while Fury surely will be approached with a large sum of money to meet the winner.
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Ryan Garcia knocks out Javier Fortuna, calls out Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney for 140-pound bouts
Jul 17, 2022
Following a disappointing performance in April, Ryan Garcia impressed against a far better opponent on Saturday with a sixth-round knockout of Javier Fortuna in a 140-pound bout in Los Angeles.
The 23-year-old star floored Fortuna in Rounds 4, 5 and 6, all the result of Garcia’s lightning-quick left hook. The first knockdown was produced by a body shot — and set up by a feint — but the following two hooks crashed into Fortuna’s chin.
After the last knockdown, Fortuna received the referee’s 10 count on one knee, the end of the fight coming 27 seconds into Round 6.
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“I know that I was sharp. … I know how good of a fighter I am, I just had to put it all together,” Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs) said. “The fight speaks for itself. … When I face harder punchers, I box better. … I hit hard; it doesn’t take a lot to hurt somebody.”
Garcia is ESPN’s No. 6 boxer at 135 pounds, but his last two fights have been contested at 140, a weight he said he’s far more comfortable at.
“I’m not going back down to 135 for nothing, but I will fight ‘Tank’ next,” Garcia said, referring to a super fight with Gervonta Davis. “If ‘Tank’ wants it at 140 … let’s get it.”
Davis, also a star fighter, campaigns at 135 pounds, but did fight at junior welterweight once, an 11th-round TKO of Mario Barrios last June.
A matchup between Davis and Garcia is one of the biggest commercial events boxing can deliver, but consummating a deal won’t be easy, given the promotional and network divide. Davis is aligned with PBC and fights on Showtime, whereas Garcia is aligned with Golden Boy and fights on DAZN.
Whomever Garcia fights next, he plans to fight December, and it’s apparent he’s improving after a tumultuous 2021.
Following a January 2021 TKO of Luke Campbell in a career-best victory, Garcia was set to fight Fortuna last July but withdrew to address his mental health. A November fight with former champion Joseph Diaz Jr. was scrapped after Garcia underwent surgery to repair his right wrist.
PUNCHES GARCIA FORTUNA
Total landed 79 24
Total thrown 236 115
Percent 36% 21%
Jabs landed 23 7
Jabs thrown 100 51
Percent 23% 14%
Power landed 56 17
Power thrown 136 64
Percent 41% 27%
— Courtesy of CompuBox
He returned in April to outpoint Emmanuel Tagoe, but there wasn’t much action in the fight and Garcia surprisingly never put the Ghanian away despite hurting him several times.
Garcia had no such issues against Fortuna, a 33-year-old Dominican who is ESPN’s No. 10 lightweight. He appeared to inflict damage every time he touched him. But Garcia wasn’t just far bigger than Fortuna, he was also much quicker. He consistently beat Fortuna to the punch and kept him at the end of his jab.
Fortuna rarely threw a punch, and when he did, the shots rarely met the mark. The right eye of Fortuna (37-4-1, 26 KOs) was swollen by the end. It was Fortuna’s second loss in three fights; he was outpointed by Diaz last July.
“They told me I was some guy who doesn’t care about boxing and who made up mental health [issues],” Garcia said.
He added: “It’s not weakness. It’s strength. It’s courage.”
With Garcia now returned to form, and with a second fight under the tutelage of Joe Goossen, he should be ready for far better opposition, whether it’s Davis, undisputed lightweight champ Devin Haney or any of the best fighters at his new weight class.
“Let’s get the big fights going,” Garcia said. “I’m sure Devin can’t make 135 either, let’s be honest. That dude is big, too. … None of us are gonna be at 135, let’s be real.”