With heavyweight world Champion Tyson Fury’s fate set to be decided by the BBBoC today following allegations of a positive test for cocaine use, the other fighters in the division are circling in the hope of swooping up one of his titles should, as many suspect, they end up scattered to the winds if Fury is banned.
Fury is believed to be receptive to handing over his belts in the hope of being made a Champion in Recess, but talk of a showdown between IBF holder Anthony Joshua and former world Champion Wladimir Klitschko on November 26 are already floating through the boxing firmament.
Joshua is pencilled in for an outing at the Manchester Arena on October 12, but could push this back a month if the Klitschko fight is ratified for one or more of the titles.
Britishboxers contacted Lindsey Tucker, the IBF’s Championship Chairman to clarify the situation, particularly regarding the issue of Joseph Parker’s mandatory status for the belt and the fact that, as things stand, Klitschko does not hold a Top Fifteen ranking with the organisation.
‘Under our Rules, we will notify Champion Anthony Joshua on November 9, 2016 to start negotiations with mandatory challenger Joseph Parker,’ stated Tucker. ‘If we get a request for someone other than Parker before November 9, 2016, we will deal with it according with the Rules.’
He added: ‘Klitschko is not currently in the IBF Ratings because up until recently, he was scheduled to fight Tyson Fury for the WBA and WBO Heavyweight Title.’
However, and as per the IBF’s rules, their titlists can defend against a Top Fifteen-rated boxer, and Klitschko would certainly be in those ratings were it not for the fact he was down to fight Fury for the other titles.
The matter is now in the hands of the IBF’s Anibal Miramontes, who told me that: ‘After the IBF receives official confirmation that Fury’s titles are vacated, Wladimir Klitschko will be rated again. He was taken out of the ratings because he wasn’t available since he was contracted to fight for another organizations titles with Tyson Fury. Due to his availability he will be placed back in the ratings.’
Therefore, and assuming they do not take another route, Joshua and Klitschko would be able to push on under the IBF’s Rule 5.A section 2.: ‘[T]he Heavyweight Champion may enter into any contest with any heavyweight contender rated in the top fifteen (15) boxers in his weight class as set forth in the ratings of the IBF/USBA and subject to the approval of the Championships Chairman and the President.
‘All optional defenses, and any and all other bouts, by a Champion shall be concluded at least sixty (60) days prior to the date the Champion’s mandatory is due and shall be subject to the approval of the Championships Chairman and the President.’
In the meantime, the mooted showdown depends on a lot of spinning plates staying in place, but, if made, Fury-Klitschko II will become a moot point and the former holder could be handed an IBF rating, which would pave the way for a classic “Youth Vs Experience” heavyweight encounter.