By Rory Carroll
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury stunned boxing fans on Wednesday when he said he would only fight twice more but the president of his promotional company wouldn’t be surprised if his career carried on longer than that.
Fury soundly defeated Deontay Wilder last month to claim the WBC belt and the pair are expected to meet for a third time in early July after the American, who fought Fury to a draw in their first meeting, triggered a rematch clause.
Boxing fans hope to see an all-British battle between Fury and WBA, IBF and WBO champion Anthony Joshua, possibly in December, and Fury said he was then likely to hang up his gloves.
“I’ve got two more fights left and then we’re going to really think about what we’re going to do from there,” Fury, 31, told British TV show This Morning while seated alongside his wife Paris.
“I’m undefeated in 31 professional fights, this is my 12th year as a professional, so yeah, that’s what I want.”
Top Rank president Todd DuBoef said he had seen fighters he’s worked with say they are going to retire, only to be lured back into the ring later.
“Manny Pacquiao was retired for a while and he’s 42,” DuBoef told Reuters, referring to the Filipino legend who is planning to fight again this year.
“Bernard Hopkins was never coming back. Conor McGregor retired. We’ll see how it plays out,” he said.
“He may get inspired and there could be a Wilder-Fury four fight. There could be an Anthony Joshua one, two and three fights. Who the hell knows, right?
“I’m not going to predict anything but I’ve been in the business a long time and I’ve seen people when they’ve thought it was time to get out, come back.”
DuBoef said despite the one-sided nature of the recent Wilder-Fury showdown, which set a Las Vegas gate record for a heavyweight fight, there will be no trouble drumming up interest in a third installment given Wilder’s knockout power.
“Most people picked Wilder going into this fight,” DuBoef said of the Alabama native, who is 42-1-1 with 41 KOs.
“Tyson shocked everybody in this one by executing a game plan but the one game plan he can’t execute is defense against a guy that has dynamite in his hand,” he added.
“As long as a guy can crack the way Wilder does, he’s always in the fight.
“Just because you got him on one night doesn’t mean you can get him every night.”
(Editing by Ed Osmond)