SPRINGFIELD, New Jersey (AP) — The IBF stripped British boxer Tyson Fury of its world heavyweight belt because he was breaking rules by meeting Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch in his next fight.
Fury was supposed to meet the IBF’s No. 1 contender, Vyacheslav Glazkov, in a mandatory defense, but couldn’t because he was contractually obligated to meet Klitschko.
The International Boxing Federation said in a statement on Wednesday that the contract it received for the Klitschko-Fury bout on Nov. 28 didn’t have a provision for a rematch, and if it had been aware of one, then it would have allowed a rematch only after a mandatory defense. If Klitschko and Fury had not agreed to that, the IBF said, then it would not have sanctioned the title fight.
Fury took the IBF, WBA and WBO titles from Klitschko, who exercised his option for an immediate rematch.
The IBF said Fury’s lawyers asked it to exercise discretion regarding the rules, but the IBF wasn’t willing to, and vacated the title on Tuesday.
Fury was the mandatory challenger of the WBA and WBO, and the IBF said it reminded him two days after his title win that the mandatory defense of its heavyweight belt was next in line.
The rematch “interferes” with the mandatory defense, the IBF said, so the title was declared vacant.
It ordered Glazkov and No. 4 contender Charles Martin on Tuesday to negotiate a fight for the vacant title.
Martin’s promoter requested a purse bid, and the IBF scheduled it for Dec. 18.
Fury remains the WBA and WBO champion.