Tyson Fury is about to step into the ring for the final time, if Tyson Fury is to be believed.
The WBC heavyweight champion told reporters on Tuesday that he intends to retire following his April 23 match against mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte.
"This is the final fight of my career, I'm retiring after this; $150 million in the bank, good-looking, healthy, young, I'm going to buy a massive yacht abroad. Got loads of cars and properties all over the world. Just going to sit back with a hot blonde and piña colada ... I'm retiring, I'm out, this is my final fight, the final countdown, I'm done."
Such proclamations should probably be taken with a grain of salt, especially in the world of boxing. Fury did respond to one question in his pre-fight news conference, which Whyte chose to skip, by saying that once he was retired, "it's done for me, I don't care what people say."
Should he actually retire, the 33-year-old Fury would leave a strong, but somewhat mercurial legacy beyond his 32-0-1 career record. He shocked the world when he dethroned Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, then walked away from the sport amid mental health issues, drug abuse and anti-doping violations. He landed back on the map when he faced Deontay Wilder for the first time, fighting the then-WBC champ to a controversial draw, then ascended once again when he beat Wilder twice to complete the trilogy.
Now, still unbeaten and with plenty of potential opponents ahead of him, Fury may be hanging up his gloves. That, of course, would be interesting news for his potential opponents.
Did boxing just lose its chance at a real heavyweight unification?
When Fury unseated Wilder, it looked like boxing had its best chance at a heavyweight unification in years. Wilder never faced Anthony Joshua, owner of the other major heavyweight titles, but Fury soon announced plans to fight his compatriot for the chance to become the first unified heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis.
That never happened. Wilder exercised a rematch clause that eventually forced Fury to turn his attention back to the American, and by the time Fury beat Wilder again in a classic, Joshua had lost to Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua and Usyk are now scheduled to fight a rematch, though that may be complicated by Usyk traveling to his native Ukraine to help aid the defense effort against Russia's unprovoked attack on the country, something Klitschko and his brother Vitali have also done. Fury praised the Ukrainian fighters for their willingness to defend their country during the news conference.
Should Fury actually retire, it would leave no reputable WBC champion for the winner of the Usyk-Joshua rematch, whenever it does happen, to face. Wilder would almost certainly be interested in jumping in somewhere, but the dream of a legitimate unified heavyweight champion may not be possible if Fury calls it a career.