The controversy surrounding the last time Tyson Fury held the unified heavyweight title will see the WBC ruler through the IBF belt away if he wins it.
Fury defeated Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 for the majority of top division trinkets. All except the WBC he now holds.
But within days of his impressive victory in Germany, the IBF was on his back about a mandatory rematch.
IBF chiefs instantly threatened to strip Fury if he didn’t face Klitschko again.
There was no intention to negate the contracted return at the time, but that didn’t stop the IBF from irking Fury and his team.
Asif Vali, who worked with Amir Khan and Team Fury back in December 2015, spoke exclusively to World Boxing News back then.
He said: “I’m sure Mick Hennessy and Peter Fury will speak to Lindsey Tucker (former IBF Chairman until 2018) on this. They will discuss it. They know it’s unfair that they should strip him straight away when he’s not had a chance.
“A contract is a contract, which was also a promotional agreement. We wouldn’t have even had the IBF belt or any of the other world titles if we hadn’t agreed to what Klitschko’s demand was (an immediate rematch).”
WBN then asked Tucker for his view on the matter. He stated the IBF’s rule 3B to WBN for the second time in succession by saying: “The mandatory takes priority over the re-match.
“Rule 3B Return Bout states: No contract for a Championship contest shall contain any clause or provision, whatsoever.
“Guaranteeing or in any way assuring or promising either contestant a return Championship contest where such clause or provision interferes with the mandatory defense of the title.”
In a further update, the IBF then declared the title vacant, shocking Fury.
They said: “Wladimir Klitschko has exercised his right to the contractual option agreed upon between himself and Tyson Fury for an immediate rematch.
“Thus, rendering Tyson Fury unable to make a mandatory defense of the IBF title next.
“The direct rematch between Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury interferes with the mandatory defense of the IBF Heavyweight title. It violates Rule 3.B. of the IBF/USBA Rules Governing Championship Contests.
“Consequently, the title has been vacated in accordance to Rule 3.C.2. of the IBF/USBA Rules Governing Championship Contests, which states: “Upon violation of this Rule, the Championship involved shall forthwith be declared vacant.”
Kathy Duva, who was lobbying for her fighter Vyacheslav Glazkov to get his opportunity as the number one contender, told WBN: “My thoughts are that the IBF’s press release makes it clear.
“And that the Fury people should not have been surprised.
“The IBF typically follows their rules to the letter.”
Charles Martin knocked out Glazkov in the subsequent vacant title match-up.
During the aftermath, Fury declared his intention to never work with or fight for the IBF again.
Now, here’s where it gets complicated as Joshua holds that championship. Therefore, if they meet in 2021, Fury has one of two options.
He can decline to pay the sanctioning fee altogether.
But more likely, ‘The Gyspy King’ will be persuaded by Eddie Hearn to contest the strap to make the clash a historic undisputed battle.
If he then wins it, there’s no doubting that Fury will bin it immediately.
Recently showing off the belts he owns in his home (which is all of them), Fury continued his dislike for the IBF.
“I’ve got that s— one (IBF) there as well. I hide it,” Fury pointed out, making it evident the animosity remains to this day.
At the beginning of his spiral into drink and depression, the heavyweight star eventually dropped all his titles.
He made an emotional statement in 2016 when nobody knew the pain Fury was going through.
“I won the titles in the ring. I believe that I should only lose them inside the ring. But I’m unable to defend them at this time.
“I have taken the hard and emotional decision to now officially vacate my treasured world titles,” said the champion.
It all means when the dust settles on Fury vs. Joshua, the WBO and IBF will be up in the air. At the very least.
The top division will open up again. A flood of new up-and-coming contenders will be giving chase.