Heavyweight legend George Foreman believes Tyson Fury is good for boxing.
Morecambe’s former world heavyweight champion is taking time away from the sport to deal with personal issues.
Fury had his licence suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control having vacated his WBO and WBA belts to focus on his medical treatment and recovery.
The 28-year-old withdrew from a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko for the second time after being declared “medically unfit” and courted more controversy after reports emerged that he had tested positive for cocaine.
Foreman, a two-time world heavyweight champion best known for his epic ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ super-fight against Muhammad Ali, sympathises with Fury and hopes the self-proclaimed Gypsy King makes a swift return to the ring.
“There are a lot of good heavyweights today and I couldn’t have said that two years ago,” Foreman told the Daily Telegraph.
“After Tyson Fury took the title away from Klitschko, a name was added.
“He’s a strange fella, but a wild guy with a good style.
“Fury is distinctive. He’s the maverick. And I think that right now he is at the height of his popularity.
“Sorry to say, but his troubles brought that. Nobody paid much attention before but now you read that ‘boxer suffers this and that’ and he becomes the same as the rest of us out there.
“We want to see more of him. It makes him human. We need him, boxing needs him – and he needs us.
“We all need boxing to get better, so I hope he instantly gets back on his feet.”
Elsewhere, Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko are pencilled in to fight for Fury’s WBA title.
Joshua, who claimed the IBF world heavyweight title the Morecambe man was stripped of in April, will have to beat American Eric Molina in Manchester on December 10 for the Klitschko clash to go ahead.
A prospective December bout against the Ukrainian was scuppered by a combination of boxing politics and a minor injury sustained by Klitschko.
Confusion over whether the WBA title would be on the line was one of the reasons a fight between Joshua and Klitschko was originally put on the back burner but the governing body have now officially sanctioned the clash.