Fury And Usyk Rematch May Lead To The IBF Belt Being Stripped

Oleksandr Usyk will likely be ordered to face his IBF mandatory, which will see him vacate or get stripped. 

Usyk is the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion, beating Tyson Fury in a split decision. Under the IBF rules, the champion must face his mandatory next. However, Usyk is contractually obligated to fight Fury in a rematch. It is likely to take place in October.

The IBF stripped Terence Crawford for not fighting his IBF mandatory Jaron Ennis. Bud had a contract to face Errol Spence Jr. in the rematch. Crawford was stripped as Ennis became the champion. If Usyk vacates or is stripped, Filip Hrgovic and Daniel Dubois will box for the title on June 1. 

“The IBF probably, knowing how they will, today or tomorrow, will issue the mandatory obligations to Oleksandr Usyk because it’s quite clear that Hrgovic is waiting for that mandatory. This fight [Tyson Fury vs. Usyk] was allowed on the basis that the winner would have to fight Filip Hrgovic, which everybody knew wasn’t going to be the case. So, unless there’s an agreement between everybody, it’s very likely that the IBF belt will free up and it’ll free up for June 1st, and that will be on the line [for Hrgovic vs. Daniel Dubois in Riyadh]. We’ll see,” Eddie Hearn said

That leaves Fury with plenty to think about. Another loss to Usyk could harm a potential Anthony Joshua fight. He could also sustain further damage as Usyk almost stopped Fury in round nine. Since the fight is unlikely to be for undisputed, will Fury target a more lucrative fight with Joshua instead? 

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