By JUSTIN PALMER, Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — Former heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury is already preparing for his comeback.
The 28-year-old British fighter, stripped of his three world titles last year over drug use and medical issues, called himself a “fat man” on Friday in a series of posts on Twitter, but also said he is winning his battle against depression.
“I’ve moved on from the dark &scary place I’ve been living & if I can beat depression then I can beat anything! The hardest fight of my life!” Fury wrote. “I’m starting a fresh start, letting go of the past & concentrating on the future, got to keep moving forwards.”
The unbeaten Fury said he has piled on the pounds since beating Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015. But losing the extra weight, he said, did not pose a problem.
“Talk about being a fat man, I’m 25stones or 350lbs, but getting the weight off has never been a problem! Ask @peterfury we done it 24 times,” Fury wrote on Twitter. “Just finished a lovely run, great to be back.”
Fury twice pulled out of a rematch with Klitschko, most recently ahead of the rearranged Oct. 29 bout after being declared “medically unfit” by his team.
He was stripped of the IBF belt soon after beating the Ukrainian for not fighting a mandatory challenger. He relinquished his WBO and WBA titles in October on the day his license was suspended.
He also caused controversy last year after making homophobic, sexist and anti-Semitic remarks in a magazine interview.
Fury, who calls himself the “Gypsy King” because of his Gypsy heritage, needs to do more than lose weight to get back into the ring, however.
On Tuesday, the body that runs British boxing cast doubt on Fury’s announcement that he is close to returning to the ring, saying his license remains suspended and that he has an upcoming anti-doping hearing.
Another former heavyweight champion, David Haye, said boxing would be better for Fury’s return.
The 36-year-old Haye, who lost to Tony Bellew last weekend, said he “really missed Tyson Fury and his antics.”
“Hopefully, like he said on Monday, he can get himself in good nick and back out there,” Haye wrote in a column in the Metro newspaper. “I hope he can get his issues with his license, the British Boxing Board of Control and UK Anti-Doping resolved and that we see him back in a ring soon. It could make a good fight, me and him. You never know.”