Tyson Fury” by Mac Dreamstate (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury returns to boxing and in-ring competition after two-and-a-half years out of sport when he faces an unnamed opponent on home turf in the Manchester Arena on June 9.

The story of the self-styled Gypsy King so far contains dizzying highs and shocking lows. Fury stunned the boxing world when he dethroned WladimirKlitchsko for most of the sport’s heavyweight belts in Dusseldorf, Germany back in November 2015.

That unanimous decision victory enhanced his professional record to 25 fights unbeaten with 18 coming by knockout. What followed for Fury was depression and a failed drugs test that forced him to vacate his titles and saw his boxing license revoked.

He gained weight but began training at fellow Manchester boxer Ricky Hatton’s gym in a bid to step up his comeback when the ban ended. Fury has since signed with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions and set his sights on current world heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua.

While seeing AJ in the limelight he may have felt should’ve been his, Fury is some way of getting into the title picture. Were they to meet today, then it would be worth checking the latest betting offers for sports for a Joshua win, as he is odds-on at a best-price 4/6 with Sky Bet to win a potential bout with The Gypsy King.

Fury, meanwhile, is available at top odds of 11/8 with William Hill to knock AJ off his pedestal but comebacks to reach the zenith of boxing again are slow-burners. Here’s how Fury could go about getting himself back into contention.

Shake off the ring rust

Boxing promoter Warren is no fool; he won’t be pitching his client into high-profile fights straight away.  There’ll be a carefully thought out strategy to build Fury back up. The opposition probably won’t be up to much but that’s not the point.

Putting Fury against easy opposition in his comeback fight and subsequent boxing bouts isn’t about swerving challenges but rather serves two purposes. One is to ensure that any ring rust developed during that time away from the sport is shaken off. The other is to rebuild the fighter’s confidence as sparring and training can only do so much for getting back into ring shape.

Next step: up the calibre of opponent

We’ll soon know whether Fury still has the old magic or not, but there comes a point after a few fights where he has to face a better breed of boxer. Tony Bellew, who has heaped successive defeats on fellow British heavyweight David Haye, has identified The Gypsy King as a potential future opponent.


Tony Bellew” by Macron news YouTube (CC BY-SA 3.0)

“I’d love [to fight] Tyson Fury,” Bellew said after beating Haye for a second time. “I’d love to knock him out. Fury isn’t a big puncher like Anthony Joshua or Haye; he’s big, elusive and fast for a heavyweight. It’s a fight I like.”

Bellew is certainly describing the Fury of old so, if those attributes are still with him, the former WBC cruiserweight champion could be a bout around the corner. While his camp is certainly keen on the fight taking place soon, Warren will surely want to build Fury up a little more before tackling the Liverpudlian.

Eddie Hearn, who has Bellew signed to his Matchroom Promotions, believes Fury won’t go near his client for three or four fights. Bellew turns 36 in November, so age is on Fury’s side but he will have to prove he can still hang in such company if he wants another world title shot.





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