IBF in a Fury furore

Barely two weeks into be­ing crowned world cham­pion, the fed­er­a­tion strips Bri­ton of his belt

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

Undis­puted world heavy­weight cham­pion Tyson Fury this week en­dured the ig­nominy of be­ing stripped of his In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion (IBF) ti­tle less than two weeks af­ter win­ning it.

This af­ter the 27-year-old Bri­ton agreed to give Ukra­nian Wladimir Kl­itschko a re­match in­stead of trad­ing punches with num­ber one con­tender Vy­ach­eslav Glazkov.

Fury beat Kl­itschko on points at the Esprit Arena in Düs­sel­dorf, Ger­many, two weeks ago to be crowned the IBF, World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (WBA), World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WBO), In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion (IBO) and Ring Magazine uni­fied king­pin. He is likely to chal­lenge Amer­i­can Deon­tay Wilder for the World Box­ing Coun­cil belt too.

Lind­sey Tucker, the IBF’s cham­pi­onship chair­per­son, con­firmed to BBC Sport this week: “It’s true; he’s been stripped of the IBF belt.”

But the de­ci­sion is bizarre, as, ac­cord­ing to the rules, a ti­tle holder has at least 90 days (three months) to make a manda­tory de­fence.

Fury was last week or­dered to slug it out against Glazkov first – fail­ing which his cham­pi­onship belt would be de­clared va­cant. But his camp would have none of that by main­tain­ing their charge would give Kl­itschko the re­match, as per their con­tract.

Fury, named af­ter for­mer world heavy­weight champ Mike “Iron Mike” Tyson, caused a ma­jor up­set by beat­ing the highly dec­o­rated Kl­itschko, who had been at the helm since 2009.

When news broke af­ter the fight that Kl­itschko would ex­er­cise his con­trac­tual right to a re­match, the IBF made it clear that the cham­pi­onship would be de­clared va­cant if Fury failed to face the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s manda­tory chal­lenger (Glazkov) first.

Fury’s camp have re­acted strongly against the IBF’s rul­ing, say­ing this would re­sult in the cham­pi­onship belt be­ing cer­e­mo­ni­ously binned – mean­ing their camp would trash it.

Peter Fury, the boxer’s un­cle and trainer, said: “If they want to take the belt from us in such pa­thetic and dis­gust­ing cir­cum­stances, that will re­sult in a pub­lic and em­bar­rass­ing dis­play for the IBF.”

But the IBF is mak­ing Fury’s reign un­com­fort­able by de­mand­ing he put the ti­tle on the line against the manda­tory

PHOTO: AP PHOTO / SE­BAS­TIAN KONOPKA

FU­RI­OUS Tyson Fury con­nects with a left hook against Wladimir Kl­itschko dur­ing their fight at the Esprit Arena in Düs­sel­dorf, Ger­many, a fort­night ago

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