Tyson Fury claims the World Boxing Organization heavyweight title could be at stake when Tom Schwarz opposes him in Las Vegas this weekend.
The former unified champion makes his debut in the boxing capital of the world on Saturday night.
In what would be an amazing twist, Fury says the WBO may be on the verge of stripping Andy Ruiz Jr.
The Mexican-American won the belt from Anthony Joshua on June 1st. Ruiz knocked the Briton down four times on his way to victory in New York.
Should the WBO act, it would be a highly controversial move against Ruiz Jr.
“I’m hearing now that it (WBO title) could be on the line on Saturday night,” Fury told Press Association Sport. “That’s inside information so maybe I shouldn’t have said that, though I’ve said it now anyway, so maybe it’ll be on the line on Saturday night.
“There is a chance. It’s highly doable, so I’ve been told, so maybe it’ll be for the WBO championship as well.
“When you’re the lineal champion that’s as big as it gets. It doesn’t get any bigger than that. It doesn’t matter how many belts (the other heavyweights) have got. They’ve got to beat Tyson Fury to be number one.
“(If not) the winner of me and Tom Schwarz will be mandatory for the WBO, because it’s number three and number two (in the rankings) fighting each other.”
As Fury stated, the pair are just behind Dillian Whyte in the WBO ratings. Whyte has been patiently awaiting a shot at the top division crown for almost two years.
Putting Fury and Schwarz forward ahead of Whyte’s battle with Oscar Rivas is seemingly unthinkable.
Potentially, the best Fury could hope for is to have the interim WBO championship on the line. Even then, Whyte’ promoter Eddie Hearn might contest any move.
Whyte wants the WBC version but is consistently overlooked by Deontay Wilder and World Boxing Council chiefs.
If the WBO strap does becoming available, which seems highly unlikely at this point, Whyte’s outing next month might carry favor.
Rivas is currently placed behind Schwarz at four with the WBO.