Tyson Fury has scotched speculation of an impending retirement from boxing as he mapped out a five-fight plan, including a couple of showdowns against British rival Anthony Joshua.
Unfounded scrutiny about the legitimacy of an eye injury that caused his fight against Oleksandr Usyk to be put back to May 18 led to suggestions Fury may have been contemplating hanging up his gloves.
But Fury, who has flirted with retiring several times during his professional career, reaffirmed his commitment to fighting Usyk in Riyadh, where all four major world titles are set to be on the line.
Fury anticipates a rematch with the Ukrainian in another undisputed world heavyweight title fight before one or possibly two fights against Joshua and then a return bout versus Francis Ngannou.
“I keep hearing talk of people saying I should retire or I’m going to retire soon or whatever,” Fury said on his Instagram, showing stitches above his eye.
“I ain’t retiring – I’ve got two fights with Usyk for the undisputed, twice.
“Then I’m going to fight AJ at least once, maybe twice, if there’s a rematch – if he wants one after the first battering I give him. Then I’m going to fight Ngannou again.
“That’s just the start. There’s five fights for you to whet your appetite. I ain’t going nowhere; I’m 35-years-old and in the prime of my life.”
In his most recent bout in October, Fury (34-0-1, 24KOs) was knocked down but eked out a controversial split points win over Ngannou, who was boxing professionally for the first time.
Just over a fortnight before a much-anticipated bout against Usyk, Fury had to pull the plug because of a cut above his right eye which he sustained in sparring and required “significant stitching”.
But organisers have worked efficiently to rearrange the contest between WBC champion Fury and WBA, IBF and WBO titlist Usyk which will crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the four-belt era.