Unfit Fury holding Klitschko 'hostage'

Wladimir Klitschko (AFP)
Wladimir Klitschko (AFP)

Berlin - Wladimir Klitschko's manager says Tyson Fury is holding the ex-world champion 'hostage' in the wake of the Briton's latest postponement of their heavyweight rematch.

"Wladimir is totally disappointed that this bloke has delayed the fight again. He's holding him hostage," said Klitschko's manager Bernd Boente.

"Wladimir wants to fight, he's training and in the meantime it's already been nearly a year since the first fight."

Klitschko is based in Hamburg and his management has reserved the city's Barclaycard-Arena for December 10 in the hope the rematch can still take place in 2016.

Fury claimed a shock win over Klitschko, the Ukrainian's first defeat in a decade, to take the World Boxing Association, World Boxing Organisation and International Boxing Federation belts in a points decision in Duesseldorf last November.

But the rematch has been blighted by problems.

After agreeing to again fight Klitschko over 12 rounds, Fury was stripped of the IBF title for failing to face its mandatory challenger.

Then the rematch, set for July 9 in Manchester, was called off when the British fighter suffered an ankle injury.

It was then revealed Fury had failed a dope test and would have a hearing in front of the United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) panel - although England's High Court ruled that it should be delayed until November so the bout could go ahead.

And on Friday, Fury's camp declared the champion was "medically unfit to fight" in the rescheduled bout for October 29 at the Manchester Arena.

"I'm very disappointed that Fury has now cancelled the fight for the second time," said Klitschko, who has been training in Kiev.

"I'm in top condition and would like to have retrieved my world title belt in Manchester.

"Since turning pro in 1996, I have never had to take such a long break."

A third date for the rematch has not been set and Boente says it is now up to the WBA and WBO to decide what happens next.

"It now lies with the associations to make a decision regarding the title - but that's not in our hands," said Boente.

"We hope that Wladimir will be able to fight again soon."

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