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Hughie Fury withdraws from Michael Hunter eliminator with long COVID issues

Hughie Fury’s delayed eliminator with Michael Hunter now will not be happening at all.

Hughie Fury will not fight Michael Hunter in a WBA eliminator
Hughie Fury will not fight Michael Hunter in a WBA eliminator
Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Hughie Fury will not be facing Michael Hunter in a previously-postponed WBA heavyweight title eliminator, with Fury saying in a statement that doctors have advised him to withdraw as he’s dealing with long COVID-19 symptoms and unable to train properly.

Fury (26-3, 15 KO) and Hunter (20-1-2, 14 KO) were supposed to meet in the summer, but Fury withdrew due to an unspecified illness, which now seems pretty obviously the same thing that’s still hampering him. The latest news was that the fight would go ahead on Oct. 29, but now it’s just off.

“I am a professional boxer who needs to fight in order to pay my bills and to live,” he said in the statement. “But I have been out for over a year now and, to my frustration, I have been advised by doctors to take total rest at the moment because I’m suffering symptoms of long COVID.

“I feel weak with no strength. I’ve had all sorts of checks and they’ve diagnosed me as having long COVID symptoms. It is frustrating but there is nothing I can do if my body’s not allowing me to train. I’m going to take time out for the rest of this year and pick up again next year when I’ve rested properly.

“I have had 29 bouts, I’m ready for big fights and my promoter has guaranteed me a big fight upon my return. If that’s Michael Hunter next, that’s fine. If it’s someone else, that’s fine as well. I think everyone knows I will fight anyone as I have done over the years.”

Fury, 28, was last seen in an Oct. 2021 win over Christian Hammer, his third straight following a loss to Alexander Povetkin in 2019.

If the WBA move on and order a different eliminator, Martin Bakole would be next in line by their rankings. Hunter is currently in the No. 1 slot, followed by Robert Helenius, Hughie Fury, Bakole, and Anthony Joshua to round out the top five. Helenius, of course, is set to face Deontay Wilder in a WBC eliminator on Oct. 15.

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