Tyson Fury has vacated the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles and won't be fighting top British contender David Price in what would have been a big fight for British boxing. The move likely doesn't surprise many, as there were plenty of skeptics who already didn't believe the two big, young British heavyweights would meet.
In a press release sent out by Hennessy Sports, Fury's promoter Mick Hennessy says he offered Price £100,000 for a fight on Channel 5, but that Price's promoter Frank Maloney rejected the offer.
"We have a great schedule in place for Tyson on Channel 5 and I'm not prepared to have that affected by other promoters, purse bids and titles," said Hennessy.
"Fury vs Price was a quality fight and in my opinion it should go out to the widest possible audience, that's why I offered David Price £100,000 to fight Tyson Fury on Channel 5, which unfortunately was rejected by his promoter on Monday."
Hennessy said Fury's next move would be announced in the coming days.
Fury (17-0, 12 KO) says his plans include going after a world title. "It's been an honor to have won and held both the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles, but as I'm now currently number 7 in the world it's time to move on.
"If David Price really believed he could beat me the smart move in my opinion would have been to take the great pay day that was offered by my promoter to appear on terrestrial TV."
Maloney was quick to respond with his own press release, branding Fury a chicken.
"Chicken Fury was going to get the biggest pay of his career to date, and has let himself, his fans, his traveling community and most of all the boxing world down," said Maloney.
“This is why people are turning against the sport I love and again politics have ruled what a boxer does. The BBBofC have purse bids for a reason and this fight generated more interest than normal with all the top promoters in the UK bidding for it.”
Maloney doesn't believe that Hennessy Sports and Channel 5 had the money to secure the fight, and that's why Fury has backed out.
"As a promoter you take a risk when it comes to purse bids, you can bid too high and make a massive loss or too low and stand the chance that your fighter will fight on another promotion and TV channel," he said.
“This is a real disappointment for us all. A show that all heavyweight boxing fans wanted to see gets taken away before any chance of a bid was accepted. Why vacate when you were offered more money than your promoters were prepared to pay? This is simply something Maloney Promotions do not understand.”
There was already an early inkling, even before Price squashed John McDermott on January 21 to earn the British title shot, that a Fury vs Price fight wouldn't happen.
That came from Price, who did an in-house video interview and said of Fury, "That's the fight I want. It's the fight the public wants. Everyone wants to see it. And it's probably the fight he wants.
"But whether it happens or not, we don't know. Because I've got to beat John, and then the fight's got to be made or whatever else, so, we'll just see what happens over the next few months."
It won't be happening any time soon, and for now, the two UK giants will be going in different directions. Maybe someday.