The Ring Magazine Editor Dougie Fischer has moved to confirm the situation regarding the newly-vacated title at heavyweight.
Tyson Fury was stripped on Thursday for his failure to defend the belt, whilst the 29 year-old was also removed from the rankings.
With current divisional ruler Anthony Joshua facing number three-ranked Joseph Parker on March 31, speculation had mounted the belt would be verified for the four-strap contest.
Fischer has confirmed this will NOT be the case moving forward.
“For the record, the vacant RING heavyweight championship will not be on the line in the IBF, WBA and WBO title unification bout between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker, which takes place in Cardiff, Wales, on March 31. Joshua and Parker are rated No. 1 and No. 3 by THE RING respectively,” said Fischer.
“There have been occasions when a vacant RING championship has been contested between No. 1- and No. 3-rated contenders. However, after careful consideration, we do not feel Joshua-Parker qualifies.
“At this time, THE RING ratings panel unanimously believe that Deontay Wilder is the second-best heavyweight in the world on merit.”
The winner of Joshua v Parker is likely to be ordered to participate in a mandatory fight with Alexander Povetkin, which means The ‘Rocky’ Belt would stay on the shelf until the unified champion eventually meets Wilder head on.
Joshua v Wilder has tentatively been earmarked for Las Vegas at the back end of 2018 but there’s still a long way to go until that encounter hears the first bell.