Tyson Fury has been stripped of his IBF title after Wladimir Klitschko activated his rematch clause.
The International Boxing Federation removed the world heavyweight champion’s belt as he has failed to set up a bout with mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov.
The 27-year-old’s next fight will instead be a rematch against Ukrainian veteran. Fury held the IBF title for less than two weeks following his points victory over Klitschko in Dusseldorf, but retains the WBA, WBO, and IBO straps.
The heavyweight division that Klitschko dominated for nine years has become fractured, with American scrapper Deontay Wilder holding the WBC belt. Glazkov will now fight Chris Martin for the vacant IBF title.
The governing body’s ruling could pave the way for a title shot for Anthony Joshua, who faces amateur rival Dillian Whyte this Saturday, within the next 12 months.
Fury has been embroiled in scandal outside of the ring and is currently under investigation by Greater Manchester Police over hate crime allegations.
More than 40,000 people have signed a petition to remove the fighter from the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Award shortlist.