Lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has laid into the WBO and pound-for-pound star Oleksandr Usyk after the organisation installed the Ukrainian as the mandatory challenger for Anthony Joshua's title.
The Gypsy King did not respond kindly to WBO president Paco Valcarcel's suggestion he fight rising star Bakhodir Djalolov in the near future:
He tweeted: "Maybe if you hadn’t removed me from No 1 ranked WBO! And put some cruiserweight bum with one fight at heavyweight then you could have a say!"
Per the Mirror's Gareth Bicknell, the WBO has removed Fury from its rankings and installed Usyk as Joshua's mandatory challenger. Fury's next opponent, WBC champion Deontay Wilder, is also unranked by the WBO.
Valcarcel explained the decision to remove Fury from its rankings:
Fury is scheduled to face Wilder in a rematch on February 22 after their first meeting ended in a draw. The two are widely seen as among the three best heavyweights in the sport, with Joshua holding all the other major belts.
Both Wilder and Fury fought twice in 2019, picking up wins to maintain their unbeaten records. Joshua lost and then regained his WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO titles over the course of two fights with Andy Ruiz Jr.
Wilder and Fury's decision to rematch before facing Joshua sidelines them for the WBO title for the immediate future. And with those two set to renew their rivalry, other contenders have risen in the division.
IBF mandatory challengers Kubrat Pulev has long been touted as a possible opponent for Joshua, and old rival Dillian Whyte hasn't lost since their first bout and has fought himself into the title picture. But after a single fight in the heavyweight division, Usyk now ranks as arguably the biggest threat to the top names.
The former unified and undisputed cruiserweight champion beat Chazz Witherspoon in his heavyweight debut in October. He expressed his desire to fight some of the biggest names in the sport after the win:
Due to his status as 'super champion,' Usyk passed all of the other contenders in the division after just one fight.
While the 32-year-old has spent his entire professional career as a cruiserweight, he was the 2011 amateur world champion and 2012 Olympic champion at heavyweight. Sports Illustrated, ESPN and The Ring magazine all named him the 2018 Fighter of the Year after winning the World Boxing Super Series and beating Tony Bellew.