Tyson Fury splits with trainer Ben Davison with Wilder rematch looming

Kevin Mitchell
Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

Tyson Fury has split with his trainer, Ben Davison, less than two months before his rematch with Deontay Wilder, putting a question mark over the heavyweight’s immediate future and the contest itself.

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“Tyson and myself had to make decisions which resulted in our working relationship coming to an end,” Davison tweeted on Sunday. “We remain friends and he will smash the dosser.”

Fury, with Davison’s help, lost nearly 10 stone in a year before his extraordinary 12-round draw against Wilder in Los Angeles last December, but must find a replacement immediately if he is to prepare properly for the return in Las Vegas on 22 February. Speculation that his uncle, Peter, might be persuaded to rejoin his team would seem to be misplaced, as there has been little dialogue between them since Fury beat the longtime champion Wladimir Klitschko in Germany four years ago.

In his autobiography, Behind The Mask, released last month, Fury said: “Nowadays, there is no relationship between me and Peter or with Mick [Hennessy, his former promoter]. It’s very sad, but with me, like most people I guess, once a relationship is broken it’s very hard to fix it.

“It hit me hard when I realised I couldn’t work with them again. As for Peter, it’s heartbreaking how our relationship disintegrated because, at one point in my life, he was like a second father to me.”

Ben Davison (right) also trains Billy Joe Saunders. Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Fury and Davison have been similarly close. The trainer – who is again training his longtime friend Billy Joe Saunders after the fighter’s split with Dominic Ingle – played a pivotal role in Fury’s coping with his mental health and addiction problems.

Alongside a social media photo of a smiling Fury and his family, Davison wrote recently: “Seeing pictures like this means more to me than any achievements inside them ropes. I do not see the man that was on the brink two years ago.

“That man is now unrecognisable to this man and, it seems, unrecognisable to his family. That says to me those dark days are behind them now. That says to me that we succeeded in the ring, but we succeeded in life, too.”

Since the Wilder fight – in which the Mancunian rose from the canvas in the 12th round – Fury has beaten Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin in low-key bouts as part of a five-fight deal he signed in February with ESPN, said to be worth £80m.

An all-British world title fight this summer between Fury and Anthony Joshua, who dazzled Andy Ruiz Jr to win their rematch in Saudi Arabia last weekend, might now be harder to negotiate.