Hughie Fury jumps to #5 with IBF, opens up possible Kubrat Pulev final eliminator in Bulgaria
The most significant jump on the newly released IBF Rankings list is that of British champion and former world title challenger Hughie Fury.
Upon defeating Sam Sexton for the Lonsdale Belt, Fury has curiously leapt above the likes of Carlos Takam and ex-opponent Joseph Parker (who defeated him last year), meaning the 23 year-old can now be considered for a final eliminator against Kubrat Pulev.
The Bulgarian won a purse bid to stage a stipulated clash to gain a shot at Anthony Joshua, although scheduled opponent Dillian Whyte dropped out in order to battle Parker on July 28 in London.
That leaves Pulev without a foe for his summer event on home soil, with only Jarrell Miller and Alexander Povetkin currently above Fury in the ratings.
Miller is unlikely to accept a trip to the Balkans on the back of some strong words aimed at his promoter Eddie Hearn by Pulev following Whyte’s pullout, leaving on Povetkin or Fury left.
Carlos Takam is ranked at six but is tied into a fight with Dereck Chisora, whilst Parker himself is then seventh.
Povetkin has always looked at competing on home soil if the money isn’t right, and with Whyte only set to be handed a purse of just under £300,000 for his trouble, the Russian is highly unlikely to accept.
Fury may well fancy the job as he bids to make a name for himself and push closer to another world title shot after losing out to Parker on points in Manchester last September.
Barring Fury taking the spot opposite Pulev, Team Sauerland (his promoters) would have to look further down the ratings to the likes of Agit Kabayel, the European champion or even their own Otto Wallin.
More will be revealed soon as a decision as offers are due to be made by Pulev imminently as the veteran scans the list of possibles from the new index.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay