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Tyson Fury compares boxing absence to Muhammad Ali's

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Bunce: Fury to return better than ever in 2018 (2:24)

ESPN's Steve Bunce believes Tyson Fury will be better than ever upon his return to professional boxing in 2018. (2:24)

Tyson Fury has compared his absence from boxing to that of Muhammad Ali's, as the Briton's battle with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) continues.

Fury, 29, has not fought since beating Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015, and in the two years since, the former WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion has tested positive for cocaine and opened up about suffering with depression.

Fury's UKAD hearing is set to continue this month, and the former world champion has compared his situation to that of Ali, who did not fight for nearly four years after being stripped of his license and titles following his refusal to enlist in the U.S. military.

Speaking on Periscope, Fury referenced his ongoing battle with UKAD, saying, "I am being kept out of the ring by political stuff -- they did the same to Muhammad Ali.

"Two years [I've been] out of the ring. They kept Ali out for three years and seven months.

"It didn't affect him. He went down as the greatest."

Fury was speaking after Tony Bellew, who has vowed to end Fury's career, confirmed his rematch with David Haye would be rescheduled for May 5, and Fury took the chance to take a dig at his heavyweight rivals.

"You've got some bums using my name to boost their name," Fury said. "You've got Eddie Hearn supporting them.

"They are not good enough to tie my shoelaces. They're not good enough to hold my jock strap."

Fury is back in training ahead of a mooted comeback in 2018, and he reassured fans that everything is on track ahead of a possible return.

"I'm working hard. I'm training hard, and everything is going good," Fury said. "The weight is coming down, the money is rolling in.

"I am happy with what I achieved in my career, but there's an old proverb, 'You can't keep a good man down.' And that is what I am, a good man, and you can't keep me down, no matter what anyone says.

"It would take some man to put Tyson Fury on his back."

Fury and his wife, Paris, celebrated the birth of their fourth child Monday -- a daughter named Valencia Amber Fury.