Hatton urges Fury to drop Joshua fight hopes and retire immediately

By Sports Desk October 29, 2021

Ricky Hatton has urged Tyson Fury to forget about a potential fight with Anthony Joshua and retire from the sport immediately.

Fury ended a thrilling trilogy against Deontay Wilder this month as he dropped the American in the 11th round in an all-time classic in Las Vegas.

The potential of an all-British showdown was on the cards next for the 'Gypsy King', however, those plans were put on hold when Joshua lost his WBA, WBO and IBF titles to Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua's manager Eddie Hearn confirmed there would be a subsequent rematch between the 32-year-old and the Ukrainian, set for early 2022 – further delaying a potential bout for Fury with either of the pair.

Meanwhile, Fury is likely to face Dillian Whyte – who pulled out of a clash with Otto Wallin in October – before meeting with the winner of the rematch between Joshua and Usyk.

However, former boxer Hatton has advised Fury to hang up his gloves as he implores the 33-year-old to stop waiting for Joshua.

"Tyson's proved himself," Hatton told Sportsmail. "He's had that trilogy with Wilder, he beat Wladimir Klitschko.

"Tyson's not like AJ; he's suffered from depression, drinks and drugs and all he now wants is the defining fights and to get out the game.

"Let's have it right, if Tyson wants to retire he's got nothing more to prove. The only thing that Tyson wants to know in his own mind, just like AJ does, is who the best out of he and AJ is.

"But Tyson can't wait another two years while he fights him and he fights him, he'll want to be in and out now.

"It's a shame if the AJ fight doesn't happen, and if it does it has to happen quickly, because Tyson's ready for hanging up his gloves now.

"As his friend, I want him to hang them up – he's got nothing left to prove."

Fury's promoters Frank Warren and Bob Arum had implored Joshua to step down to allow for an undisputed match-up between the division's top two, though Hearn quickly dismissed those claims.

Hatton, who retired in 2011 at the age of 32, agrees with Warren and Arum's plan while bemoaning that the two top fighters cannot face off yet.

"There's only one fight on Tyson's mind, which is the AJ fight," he continued. "But if I could rule boxing, I would let Tyson fight Usyk, because at the end of the day they’re the top two. I'd let AJ have a warm-up fight and then fight the winner.

"But this is what's ruining boxing: it should be Tyson, you fight your fight and AJ you fight yours and the winner will box each other.

"But no, you've then got to give a rematch, maybe even two rematches.

"It's ruining the game. Wilder should never have got a third fight; if he'd put in a fantastic performance in the second, then he gets the rematch. It should be based on performance.

"It puts the main fights we want on the back burner, just because of contract issues. It's a nonsense.

"All it needs, especially in heavyweight boxing, is one punch, one decision to change things and then fights won't get made for another three years."

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    "Tyson came to me and wanted to win the Deontay Wilder rematch, I helped him do that, I was okay with that. Now his decision to retire I'm happy to help him with that too.

    "We barbeque, we take trash out to the tip, we just live regular right now. He still trains, he still works out, it's something he loves to do, I'm happy with his decision and for him to be able to be with his family and spend time with them.

    "This man has been working his whole life doing that to have his family be a part of that. Being able to take care of them, do things and have adventures with them. I'm very happy for him.

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    Steward also suggested the ongoings of securing fights behind the scenes helped Fury make his mind up, but would not rule out a potential return.

    "There are a lot of fighters that have been retired and come out of retirement," he continued. "There are a lot of fighters that have been retired and stay retired. It's just up to Tyson Fury, I stand by his decision.

    "For him being retired I'm happy because that's what he wants. I know a lot of the retirement has to do with not getting the fights he wants and it's really mentally challenging to be offered fights and go through negotiations for fights and then for them to fall through at the end.

    "These things happen to many fighters around the world. You wouldn't expect it to happen on this big stage but it does happen and it's something fighters have to deal with.

    "We on the outside sometimes don't understand that. We just say 'if he gets the fight he'll come back', it's not as easy as being on the outside going through what happens on the inside.

    "But it's the sport he loves so much, and it's hurting him like that. Those things have to be taken into consideration and respected."

    If Fury was to return, a unification clash with the winner of the rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk would be the next likely fight.

    However, there remains talk of a crossover fight with UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and Steward acknowledged the potential behind such a bout.

    "I would call it entertainment. It's entertainment, you have somebody from one sport having it with somebody from another sport," he added. "There's a lot of 'oohs' and 'aahs' and wondering who would and who wouldn't.

    "It's entertainment. There are fans out there that want to be entertained and that's part of it. You can bring these two guys who are top of different sports coming together, it's exciting."

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