The International Boxing Federation stripped Tyson Fury of his heavyweight championship on Tuesday for his refusal to face mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov, per ESPN.com's Dan Rafael. Rafael also reported Glazkov will face Charles Martin for the vacant title.
Wladimir Klitschko exercised his rematch clause with Fury less than a week after he lost a unanimous decision to Fury on Nov. 28. The IBF maintained, however, the new champion would have to abide by the federation's standards if he were to keep his belt.
BoxingScene.com's Victor M. Salazar Jr. was critical of the IBF's decision:
IBF Chairman Lindsey Tucker explained the situation to Phil D. Jay of World Boxing News on Dec. 3:
Regarding the Klitschko rematch taking precedence, it's just the opposite as the mandatory takes priority of the rematch. In fact Rule 3B Return Bout states: No contract for a championship contest shall contain any clause or provision, whatsoever, guaranteeing or in any way assuring or promising either contestant a return championship contest where such clause or provision interferes with the mandatory defense of the title.
Fury's promoter, Mick Hennessy, was blunt about the reaction in the Fury camp regarding the IBF's ultimatum, per Nick Parkinson of ESPN.com: "They shouldn't be doing that, and as far as I'm concerned, if they want to hustle and bully Tyson into fighting Glazkov, Tyson will end up putting the belt in the bin at a major press conference. If they force Tyson to fight Glazkov, it will not happen. Glazkov means nothing; he has zero value."
The IBF has yet to announce a date for Glazkov and Martin's heavyweight championship fight. There's also no word on whether Martin will still fight Dominic Breazeale this Saturday. Rafael speculated Martin will pull out.