The news Monday night that Saturday's heavyweight rematch between Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury is off due to Chisora fracturing his left hand is a huge disappointment to fans.
It was shaping up to be the second-biggest fight of the year in Britain after Carl Froch vs. George Groves, with the winner putting himself in line to face Wladimir Klitschko for the heavyweight titles.
Nobody will be more disappointed than Fury, who had already suffered the same ill fortune twice in the past year, with successive fights against David Haye being cancelled when injuries hit the former cruiserweight champion.
As a result, Fury has not had a meaningful fight for 15 months since winning his American debut against Steve Cunningham in April 2013. Even if, as is hoped, a late replacement opponent can be found for Saturday, such a contest is unlikely to boost Fury's ranking.
Klitschko defends for the second time this year in early September, facing Kubrat Pulev, with the Bulgarian opponent being probably the most deserving world-title challenger.
Across 2011, 2012 and 2013, the Ukrainian champion only fought six times, so it would not be surprising if he doesn't fight again in 2014 after the Pulev match.
Even though Fury should arguably be next in line after Pulev, and BoxRec's computerised rankings put him third behind the two Eastern Europeans, there is no guarantee Klitschko will turn to him. The champion may prefer another soft-touch defence against an opponent comparable to Alex Leapai or Francesco Pianeta.
In the short term, promoter Frank Warren said in yesterday's press release that, "we're working hard to get a new date confirmed" for a rescheduling of the cancelled heavyweight bout.
That comes despite Eurosport reporting "poor ticket sales" for the fight and rival promoter Eddie Hearn claiming in April, via IFL TV, that "Chisora-Fury II is bombing at the box office...it's just not capturing the imagination."
Whatever the financial particulars, a rescheduling is the best scenario for both boxers, as both Chisora and Fury are due a big fight that can propel them toward the world titles.
In February, Fury told James Robson of the Manchester Evening News, "It’s hard to get motivated for little fights,” before coming in overweight at a career-high 274 pounds in his only outing of 2014 against Joey Abell, nearly two stone above his ideal size.
There have been reports of Fury suffering from depression in the past, with the depression contributing to weight gain, even before he lost the chance to fight Haye, which hit him hard. He told Robson: "It was like having the money—you’ve got it—and then not having it. I felt like I had been robbed of £5m."
Fury was so put out that he even talked semi-seriously of retiring from boxing aged just 25 before being pictured badly out of shape over the New Year, perhaps as much as four stone overweight.
As a heavyweight, the 6′8″ giant could anticipate a good 10 years at the top, but there is the cautionary tale of Ricky Hatton, who let a poor lifestyle and management of his weight get the better of him.
Hatton was washed-up by the age of 30, and Fury needs to start exercising better discipline now to avoid the same fate.
The unpredictable Fury already faces a disciplinary hearing with the British Board of Boxing Control next month because of his behaviour at a recent press conference, as reported by ESPN.
Although the unbeaten heavyweight's Twitter account must be taken with a pinch of salt, in the aftermath of the cancellation he managed to call out a female footballer, rather than Deontay Wilder, before suggesting he would take on all-comers in a street fight in Bolton.
Fury's frustration and annoyance at a third big fight date slipping through his fingers is understandable, but he must remain focused now and keep a lid on his trademark idiocy before he begins to jeopardise his career.
Even with this cancellation, the Manchester-born monolith could be less than a year away from the heavyweight title, but, given his psychological instability, you wouldn't bet against him falling off the wagon somewhere down that path.
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