Tyson Fury: WBO set to strip world heavyweight champion of belt

Tyson Fury
Tyson Fury has won all of his 25 fights, the most recent of which was against Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015

British boxer Tyson Fury has 10 days to convince the WBO not to strip him of his world heavyweight title.

He withdrew from October's rematch with Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko because of mental health issues.

The 28-year-old fighter is also facing a UK Anti-Doping hearing in November after being charged with the use of a prohibited substance.

In a magazine interview last week, he also revealed he had been taking cocaine to help deal with depression.

WBO chairman Luis Batista-Salas said Fury could lose his belt because of "inactivity, breach of contract and performance enhancing drugs and stimulants".

But he also stressed he is concerned for Fury's "health, well-being, happiness and prospects for a full and complete recovery".

Fury is also the WBA champion.

WBA president Gilberto Mendoza has told the BBC that Fury deserves a chance "to overcome this situation".

However, he said the Englishman could ultimately lose his title.

"Our main concern is what's going on with the title and the whole situation that's around him," Mendoza told the BBC Radio 5 live Sportsweek programme.

"But the substance he took is a prohibitive substance that is against the rules and we have to take that into account."

The British Boxing Board of Control is also set to meet on Wednesday to address Fury's cocaine admission and could strip him of his licence to box.

Tyson Fury's turbulent 12 months

Fury has not fought since beating Klitschko last November and postponed the original rematch in June because of an ankle injury.

After the most recent cancellation, Fury tweeted to say he had retired from boxing, before quickly retracting his statement.

The boxer's uncle and trainer, Peter Fury, told BBC Radio 5 live his nephew has been "driven to despair" by his mental health issues.

But he said he was confident his nephew would resume his career.

There is an option for Fury to be declared a "champion in recess". This means fighters can challenge for Fury's belts while he is unable to fight.

As soon as Fury is fit to fight again, he can challenge whoever holds his belts.

"The titles shouldn't be held up," said Peter Fury. "While Tyson is out for medical reasons, the titles should be freed up."

Meanwhile, fellow Briton and IBF champion Anthony Joshua could now fight Klitschko.

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