IBF in a Fury furore
Barely two weeks into being crowned world champion, the federation strips Briton of his belt
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
FURIOUS Tyson Fury connects with a left hook against Wladimir Klitschko during their fight at the Esprit Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany, a fortnight ago