Even by the standards of boxing, Tyson Fury's relationship with the idea of retirement is a bit loose.
Three days after the WBC heavyweight championship announced he was returning to boxing, Fury announced Friday he was, in fact, hanging up his gloves for good (for now).
"MASSIVE THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HAD AN INPUT IN MY CAREER OVER THE YEARS & AFTER LONG HARD CONVERSATIONS IV FINALY DECIDED TO WALK AWAY & ON MY 34th BIRTHDAY I SAY Bon voyage," Fury wrote on social media before thanking a litany of associates.
Fury announced his initial retirement in April following his sixth-round KO win against challenger Dillian Whyte to retain his heavyweight crown and stay undefeated. Fury had indicated for weeks that Whyte would be his final opponent and appeared to be following through on his intention to retire on top.
Then came a full about-face on Tuesday, when Fury announced he was returning to the ring via social media. Fury said he planned to face past opponent Derek Chisora for a third time:
“I’ve decided to come back to boxing because I can be the first heavyweight champion in history to have two trilogies, one with Deontay Wilder and a second one with Derek Chisora. I always said I’d fight Derek Chisora at the end of my career and here we are, breaking all records again and setting precedents.”
It should be noted Fury having two trilogies would not be unprecedented among heavyweight champions, as the career of Muhammad Ali exists. Ali faced Joe Frazier and Ken Norton three times each, though some of those fights weren't for a major heavyweight crown (and neither were Fury's first two fights with Chisora). Evander Holyfield also faced Riddick Bowe and John Ruiz twice.
Anyway, that intention to face Chisora apparently hit a snag by Thursday, as Fury posted a cryptic tweet indicating negotiations with Chisora were not productive:
The funny thing is, people love to do deals and then ask for more or change the goalposts. The usual thing for me is I tell them to go get f***ed. So there we are.”
Chisora would soon respond on Twitter accusing Fury of being the one moving the goalposts. And now, well, here we are.
Whether or not Fury fights again is up to Fury, but this whole episode seems to indicate there is indeed a price or reward that will get back him in the ring. He just has to make sure he's actually getting it.