Tyson Fury has finally set a date for his long-awaited return to the boxing ring and he’s coming for world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
The self-proclaimed Gypsy King, who has battled drug issues, depression and weight gain to get this far, will return for a fight at the Manchester Arena on June 9.
Fury has signed a promotional deal with Frank Warren that will see him back in action for the first time since his shock win over Wladimir Klitschko.
And while reigning WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world champion Anthony Joshua won’t be quaking in his boots just yet, Fury clearly has the Brit in his sights.
The initial fight in Manchester will help determine Fury’s progress so far and Warren is keen for Tyson to face off against Joshua, arguing that the Gypsy King is the rightful champion given that he never lost the titles and should therefore be given a chance to defend them.
Warren said: “The heavyweight division should now be put on notice because the lineal champion will be back on June 9 and will be looking to pick back up where he left off.
“I am thrilled that Tyson has entrusted us with the responsibility of recharging his career and to steer him back to where he once emphatically belonged.
“Were it not for his exploits in Dusseldorf in 2015, the now thriving heavyweight scene might have remained stagnant. But Tyson’s comprehensive schooling of Klitschko opened all sorts of doors from which others have ultimately benefited.
“Now Tyson is back, in fantastic shape and full of beans, ready to take the first step on the road towards world domination once again. I am certain the boxing public – who he never lost the affection of – will get behind him in force and support his journey.”
Fury will most likely require two warm-up fights to help himself get back in shape ahead of a possible showdown with Joshua.
The reigning champion, meanwhile, will most likely take on a unification fight with Deontay Wilder in the interim.
Fury applied for the reinstatement of his license from the British Boxing Board of Control back in January.
That followed the ruling, last December, that saw Fury accept a a back-dated two-year ban from UK Anti-Doping after testing positive for raised levels of nandrolone, which he insisted came from eating either wild boar, offal or contaminated supplements.
No opponent has been named, as yet, for the comeback fight but fans probably shouldn’t expect it to be a household name.