Tyson Fury's controversial reign as the boxing heavyweight champion came to an end on Wednesday as the 28-year-old Briton announced that he was relinquishing his WBO, WBA and IBO heavyweight titles to focus on his health. Fury won the titles after defeating Russia's Wladimir Klitschko at Dusseldorf, Germany, in November 2015.
Fury's boxing license, meanwhile, was removed by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) on Thursday.
Controversial remarks, drug intake and senseless messages remained the order of the day for Fury, who pulled out of two scheduled rematches against Klitschko earlier this year. Fury, who was already stripped off the IBF heavyweight title in December last year for failing to participate in a fight against a mandatory challenger, admitted to taking cocaine to deal with depression.
Fury was charged by the UK's anti-doping body earlier this year as well and the WBO and the WBA thought of stripping the boxer of the titles for staying inactive from the ring for several months.
"I feel that it is only fair and right and for the good of boxing to keep the titles active and allow the other contenders to fight for the vacant belts that I proudly won and held as the undefeated heavyweight champion of the world when I defeated the long-standing champion Wladimir Klitschko," Fury said in a statement.
"I won the titles in the ring and I believe that they should be lost in the ring, but I'm unable to defend at this time and I have taken the hard and emotional decision to now officially vacate my treasured World titles and wish the next in-line contenders all the very best as I now enter another big challenge in my life which I know, like against Klitschko, I will conquer," he added.
What next now
While the future of Tyson Fury in boxing is up for immense speculation now, Klitschko, who has been robbed of three rematches for his former championship, might finally contest again for the IBF and the WBA heavyweight titles against Anthony Joshua.
"It is the big favourite to be the next fight for both," boxing promoter Eddie Hearn told BBC Radio 5 Live. "Whether it gets over the line time will tell. It is the biggest heavyweight fight in the last 10 years. I want to get it over the line."
As for the WBO heavyweight title, it is believed that New Zealand's Joseph Parker and Mexico's Andy Ruiz Jr could get a shot at the vacant title.