Why Was Tyson Fury Out of Boxing?

Mike Pedersen

Why Was Tyson Fury Out of Boxing?

Tyson Fury, a name that resonates with power, skill, and controversy in the world of boxing. With an impressive career and a long list of accolades, Fury’s hiatus from the sport left fans wondering why one of the most dominant heavyweight champions had vanished from the ring.

In October 2016, Fury made a shocking decision to vacate the WBA (Unified), WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles, triggering speculation and curiosity.

This blog aims to delve into the reasons behind Fury’s departure from boxing. Furthermore, his physical condition and decision to prioritize self-care and rehabilitation shed light on the complexities of being a professional athlete.

Join us as we uncover the circumstances that led to Tyson Fury’s hiatus and how he eventually emerged from the darkness to reclaim his place in the boxing world.

Anti-doping Investigation

The Anti-doping Case Involving Fury

The anti-doping case surrounding Tyson Fury emerged when it was revealed that he had tested positive for a banned substance. In June 2016, it came to light that Fury had tested positive for nandrolone, a performance-enhancing drug, in a test conducted back in February 2015.

Nandrolone is prohibited by anti-doping agencies due to its potential to enhance an athlete’s strength and muscle mass.

This revelation raised serious concerns about Fury’s compliance with anti-doping regulations and cast doubt on the integrity of his performances in the ring.

The Allegations of Nandrolone Use

The allegations of nandrolone use centered around Fury’s positive test results. Nandrolone is an anabolic steroid that promotes muscle growth and is known for its performance-enhancing effects.

The presence of this substance in Fury’s system indicated potential usage, which triggered further scrutiny and investigation.

The allegations not only had implications for Fury’s reputation but also put his boxing career at risk, as athletes found guilty of doping violations often face severe penalties, including suspensions and bans.

Impact of the Investigation on Fury’s Eligibility to Compete

The investigation into Fury’s anti-doping case had a significant impact on his eligibility to compete in professional boxing. The presence of an ongoing investigation meant that his participation in future fights became uncertain.

Athletic commissions and sanctioning bodies often prioritize clean competition and fair play, and allegations of doping can lead to restrictions on an athlete’s ability to fight.

With the investigation looming over him, Fury’s career was put on hold, preventing him from defending his titles and participating in high-profile matches.

The uncertainty surrounding his eligibility added to the complexities of his absence from the boxing scene, further fueling speculation and anticipation for his eventual return.

Personal Issues and Substance Abuse

Insight Into Fury’s Struggles With Mental Health

Tyson Fury’s hiatus from boxing was also driven by his well-documented battles with mental health issues. The heavyweight champion openly discussed his struggles with depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.

These issues took a toll on Fury’s overall well-being and had a profound impact on his ability to function at his best both inside and outside the ring.

Mental health concerns not only affected his emotional state but also hindered his focus, motivation, and overall mental clarity necessary for rigorous training and competitive performance.

Candid Admission of Substance Abuse, Specifically Cocaine Use

In addition to his mental health struggles, Fury made a candid admission of substance abuse, particularly his use of cocaine. He publicly acknowledged turning to drugs as a coping mechanism during his difficult times.

The revelation shocked the boxing world and shed light on the depths of Fury’s personal struggles. Substance abuse, including cocaine use, further compounded his challenges and served as a hindrance to his career advancement.

How Personal Issues Affected His Ability to Train and Compete

Fury’s personal issues, including mental health struggles and substance abuse, had a direct impact on his ability to train and compete at the highest level.

Mental health issues often manifest in fatigue, lack of focus, and decreased motivation, all of which are critical components of successful boxing preparation.

Additionally, substance abuse can lead to physical and cognitive impairments, making it challenging for an athlete to maintain the physical fitness and mental sharpness required for professional boxing.

These personal issues collectively posed significant obstacles to Fury’s training regimen, compromised his performance, and ultimately led to his decision to step away from the sport temporarily to prioritize his well-being and seek necessary support and treatment.

Medical Condition

Fury’s Physical Condition During His Time Away From Boxing

During his hiatus from boxing, Tyson Fury’s physical condition underwent significant changes. He faced challenges in maintaining his fitness and staying in optimal shape. Fury openly admitted to gaining a substantial amount of weight, which had visible effects on his physique.

This weight gain not only altered his appearance but also had implications for his overall health and readiness to compete.

Weight Gain and Its Impact on His Overall Fitness

The weight gain experienced by Fury had a detrimental impact on his overall fitness. Carrying excess weight can diminish an athlete’s speed, agility, and endurance, all of which are crucial attributes in the demanding sport of boxing.

The additional pounds can affect an athlete’s mobility and limit their ability to move quickly and efficiently inside the ring.

Furthermore, increased weight puts additional strain on joints and can contribute to decreased stamina and overall performance.

Medical Condition and Decision to Take a Break

Fury’s medical condition, which encompassed both his mental health struggles and physical state, played a significant role in his decision to take a break from boxing.

The weight gain and its associated impact on his fitness were intertwined with his mental health battles and substance abuse issues.

The combination of these factors likely contributed to a decline in Fury’s overall well-being and rendered him medically unfit to compete at the highest level.

To address his physical and mental health concerns, Fury made the decision to prioritize his recovery and take time away from the sport.

This choice allowed him to seek proper medical treatment, focus on regaining his physical fitness, and restore his mental equilibrium, all of which were necessary for a successful return to boxing.

The decision to Vacate Titles

Fury’s Choice to Relinquish the WBA, Wbo, and Ibo Titles

In October 2016, Tyson Fury made the difficult decision to vacate the WBA (Unified), WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles. This decision was primarily driven by the multitude of challenges he was facing at the time.

Fury was dealing with an ongoing anti-doping investigation, personal issues related to mental health and substance abuse, and a compromised physical condition.

Considering the gravity of these circumstances, he chose to relinquish the titles rather than hold onto them while being unable to defend them or give the sport his best efforts.

Balancing Investigation, Personal Issues, and Medical Condition

Fury faced an overwhelming combination of demands, including the ongoing anti-doping investigation, personal issues, and his medical condition.

The investigation required his attention and cooperation, while his personal struggles and compromised physical state required time and effort for rehabilitation and recovery.

Balancing these complex and pressing demands while trying to maintain his standing as a professional boxer proved to be a daunting task.

Relinquishing the titles allowed Fury to prioritize his well-being and address these challenges without the added pressure of being a reigning champion.

Fury’s Mindset and Reasoning Behind the Decision

Fury’s decision to vacate the titles was influenced by a pragmatic and forward-thinking mindset. He recognized that he was unable to fulfill the obligations of a champion while dealing with the numerous obstacles he faced.

By voluntarily relinquishing the titles, Fury demonstrated his integrity and commitment to the sport. It also showcased his recognition that he needed to prioritize his personal well-being and resolve the issues he was facing before he could make a successful return to boxing.

This decision allowed Fury to focus on his recovery, seek the necessary help and treatment, and ultimately paved the way for his eventual comeback to the sport with renewed determination and readiness.

Time Away and Rehabilitation

Fury’s Break From Boxing and Time Dedicated to Self-care

During his time away from boxing, Tyson Fury made a conscious decision to prioritize self-care and take a break from the demands of the sport. This break allowed him to step back from the limelight and focus on his personal well-being.

Fury dedicated time to rest, recuperation, and engaging in activities that promoted his mental and emotional health. It was a period of introspection and self-reflection, where he could address the challenges he faced and work towards healing.

Steps Taken to Address Mental Health Issues, Substance Abuse, and Physical Well-being

To address his mental health issues, Fury sought professional help and engaged in therapy and counseling. He openly shared his struggles, raising awareness about mental health in the process.

Fury also acknowledged his substance abuse problems, particularly his use of cocaine, and took steps to overcome this addiction.

He sought treatment and rehabilitation programs specifically tailored to his needs, focusing on recovery and building healthier habits.

Additionally, Fury embarked on a journey to improve his physical well-being by working with trainers, nutritionists, and fitness experts to shed excess weight, regain fitness, and enhance his overall physical condition.

Rehabilitation Process and Professional Support Received

Fury’s rehabilitation process involved a comprehensive approach that encompassed various aspects of his well-being. He received professional support from psychologists, counselors, and addiction specialists who guided him through his mental health and substance abuse recovery.

In terms of physical rehabilitation, Fury worked closely with trainers and conditioning coaches to design a structured program that helped him regain his fitness, shed weight, and rebuild his strength and endurance.

This process often involved a combination of exercise routines, nutritional guidance, and monitoring to ensure progress and prevent setbacks.

Additionally, Fury’s support system, including his family, friends, and professional team, played a crucial role in providing encouragement, guidance, and accountability throughout his rehabilitation journey.

Return to Boxing

Fury’s Comeback and Return to the Ring

After a period of hiatus and rehabilitation, Tyson Fury made a triumphant return to boxing. His comeback marked a highly anticipated moment for fans and the boxing community.

Fury’s decision to return to the ring demonstrated his resilience and determination to reclaim his place in the sport.

He underwent a rigorous training regimen to prepare for his comeback fights, showcasing his commitment to his craft and his eagerness to compete at the highest level once again.

Significant Fights and Achievements Since His Hiatus

Since his return, Fury has engaged in several significant fights that have solidified his status as one of the top heavyweight boxers in the world. Notable among them is his thrilling bout against Deontay Wilder, where Fury captured the WBC heavyweight title in February 2020.

This victory showcased Fury’s skills, resilience, and ability to overcome formidable opponents. He has also successfully defended his titles in subsequent fights, further solidifying his dominance in the heavyweight division.

How His Time Away Impacted His Career and Boxing Style

Fury’s time away from boxing had a profound impact on his career and boxing style. During his hiatus, he underwent a personal transformation that extended beyond his physical appearance.

The challenges he faced and the work he put into his rehabilitation influenced his mindset and approach to the sport. Fury emerged with a renewed focus on mental well-being, emphasizing the importance of mental resilience and stability in his training and fights.

This shift in mentality, combined with his physical transformation, has resulted in a refined boxing style characterized by improved technique, strategic prowess, and an even greater ability to adapt to different opponents.

His time away from the ring not only allowed him to address personal challenges but also facilitated a growth and maturation that translated into an enhanced performance upon his return.

Tyson Fury’s Boxing Journey and Absence from the Ring

Oct 2016Title VacatedFury voluntarily relinquishes WBA (Unified), WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles amid ongoing challenges.
Feb 2015Anti-Doping CaseFury’s positive test for nandrolone in a sample collected in February 2015 raises concerns about his compliance with anti-doping regulations.
Oct 2016Personal StrugglesFury openly acknowledges battles with mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse problems.
Oct 2016Physical ConditionFury admits to significant weight gain during his time away from boxing, affecting his overall fitness and well-being.
——Rehabilitation PeriodFury takes a break from boxing to focus on addressing his personal issues, mental health, substance abuse, and physical condition.
Jun 2018Boxing ComebackFury returns to the ring after a hiatus of approximately two and a half years.
Feb 2020WBC Heavyweight TitleFury defeats Deontay Wilder to capture the WBC heavyweight title, marking a significant achievement in his comeback journey.
PresentSuccessful DefensesFury successfully defends his titles and solidifies his position as one of the top heavyweight boxers in the world.
——Impact and InspirationFury’s story inspires others facing similar challenges, highlighting the importance of mental health, resilience, and self-care.


Did Tyson Fury face any legal consequences as a result of the anti-doping investigation?

No, Fury did not face any legal consequences related to the anti-doping investigation. However, the investigation did impact his eligibility to compete in professional boxing for a period of time.

How long was Tyson Fury away from boxing during his hiatus?

Tyson Fury was away from boxing for approximately two and a half years. His hiatus began in October 2016 when he vacated the titles, and he made his comeback to the ring in June 2018.

Did Tyson Fury lose any of his previous accolades or titles due to his absence?

While Fury voluntarily vacated the WBA (Unified), WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles, he did not lose them due to his absence. However, his decision to relinquish the titles left them vacant for other fighters to contest for in his absence.

How did fans and the boxing community react to Tyson Fury’s hiatus and eventual return?

The reaction from fans and the boxing community was mixed. Some fans were supportive of Fury’s decision to prioritize his well-being, recognizing the importance of mental health. Others were disappointed by his absence and the temporary void it created in the heavyweight division. However, his successful comeback and notable victories since then have garnered widespread acclaim and respect from the boxing community.

Did Tyson Fury’s time away from boxing affect his ranking in the heavyweight division?

Yes, Fury’s hiatus did impact his ranking in the heavyweight division during his absence. However, his successful return and subsequent victories propelled him back to the top rankings, and he currently holds a prominent position among the elite heavyweights in the world.

Has Tyson Fury spoken publicly about his hiatus and the lessons he learned during that time?

Yes, Tyson Fury has been open and candid about his hiatus, addressing his struggles with mental health, substance abuse, and personal challenges. He has used his platform to advocate for mental health awareness and has shared valuable insights and lessons he learned during his time away from boxing.

How has Tyson Fury’s comeback story inspired others in similar situations?

Fury’s comeback story has inspired many individuals who face similar challenges, both in the world of sports and beyond. His resilience, honesty, and ability to overcome adversity have served as a source of motivation and encouragement for those dealing with mental health issues, substance abuse, and personal setbacks. Fury’s story has become a symbol of hope and a reminder that it is possible to bounce back and thrive even in the face of significant obstacles.


Tyson Fury’s absence from boxing was a period marked by significant challenges and personal growth. From relinquishing his titles to addressing an anti-doping investigation, battling mental health issues, and substance abuse, and working on his physical well-being, Fury faced a multitude of obstacles.

However, his determination and resilience propelled him forward. With a triumphant comeback, Fury has proven himself as one of the top heavyweight boxers, capturing titles and showcasing his skills in significant fights.

His time away allowed him to reflect, heal, and evolve both mentally and physically. Fury’s return to the ring exemplifies the power of perseverance and the importance of self-care in the world of professional boxing.

As he continues his journey, his story serves as an inspiration and a reminder of the strength it takes to overcome adversity and achieve greatness in and out of the ring.

Photo of author

Mike Pedersen

I'm a sports researcher and writer. I have been involved in sports writing for the last 10 years, so I can help you with your content writing needs. I have experience in sports writing and research as well as copywriting. I also have experience in producing content for digital platforms such as websites and social media channels. But my field of love is Boxing. LinkedIn

Leave a Comment