Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn has given his opinion on Tyson Fury after the former heavyweight champion was stripped of the RING Magazine title.
It was reported that Fury (25-0 record) had until 31 January to schedule a comeback opponent for his return to boxing. However, with no finalised opponent, the "Gypsy King" was stripped of his last title which represented him as the lineal heavyweight champion.
It comes after he had already given up his WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles which he won following his shocking win over Wladimir Klitschko back in November 2015.
Having not featured since then due to a now-solved drug issue, Fury has long talked about a return to the sport in 2018, hyping up a potential all-British showdown with current WBA, IBF and IBO champion Anthony Joshua.
Joshua's promoter in Hearn believes Fury should have been stripped of the title a long time ago but adds that it was always going to be a tough task to book an opponent.
"If I'm honest, it probably should have happened sooner," Hearn told iFL TV. "I think they've given him every opportunity; I think they've been pretty fair, really.
"I saw he tweeted something similar yesterday but they set a date, they made everybody aware of the date, it wasn't a secret.
"But I think the tougher thing was that he had to fight someone in the top five or very close. It was just not going to happen."
Hearn interestingly states, however, that Fury could use the stripping of the RING Magazine title to reignite his career and start afresh.
"If you're Tyson Fury, or you're a Tyson Fury fan, you can look at it as a positive and a negative," he added. "The negative of course is he's lost a great title and probably some of his bargaining power with that title, but as a positive, maybe that's it now.
"He can say, 'we know where we lie, everything's clear. I've got to get my license. UKAD done, I don't have any belts anymore but the drama is all dealt with, now we can start again.'
"That's how I'd look at it. I'd say, 'right, I've lost all my belts, I don't have my Ring Magazine but UKAD is dealt with, got my licence, I'm good to go.'"
Meanwhile, Fury recently called out former champion Shannon Briggs, stating in a Twitter video that he would be sending him a contract to sign for a fight soon.