LONDON (Reuters) - Former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury said he was fitter than ever after announcing a comeback fight in Manchester on June 9 after an absence of more than two-and-a-half years.
The Briton has signed up with promoter Frank Warren, who presented him at a news conference on Thursday, on a multi-fight deal but an immediate opponent at the Manchester Arena has yet to be named.
The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) suspended the unbeaten 29-year-old’s licence in 2016, citing anti-doping and medical issues.
That suspension was lifted in January subject to medical clearance and Fury told reporters he was ready to return and “claim what is rightfully mine”.
“I’m the fittest I’ve ever been. Timing, reflexes, everything is better than it’s ever been. I kid you not,” he added.
“Everything is still there. I’m 29 years old, coming into the prime of my life, I’m stronger and faster, holding more muscle mass than ever. I’m more confident looking at the competition.”
Fury has not fought since beating the previously undefeated Wladimir Klitschko to claim the IBF, WBA and WBO world titles in November 2015.
He was subsequently stripped of the IBF belt and relinquished the WBA and WBO ones.
Compatriot Anthony Joshua, the 2012 Olympic champion, now holds those belts as well as the IBO one and is hoping to become undisputed champion if a fight against WBC champion Deontay Wilder can be arranged.
“It has to happen. There’s not really been many fights in the heavyweight division in history that haven’t happened when you’re talking about championship level,” Joshua told Sky Sports television.
“In terms of history, I think that this fight has to happen because it wouldn’t be great for this era of boxing if it doesn’t happen.”
Fury said Joshua would be no match for him.
“It’s going to be an easy fight, no contest,” he said of a potential match-up with the champion. “He is looking for one punch all night. Anybody who can move a little bit, and throw feints, he struggles with. He can’t land.
“I’d outbox him for a few rounds then I’d knock him out.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis and Christian Radnedge