Tyson Fury defeated Wladimir Klitschko in what can only be described as a fantastic underdog victory. However, since claiming the IBF, WBO and WBA titles, Fury has been stripped of one of his belts, petitioned against, and accused of a crime.
Mandatory fight takes Precedent over Rematch
The contract between Fury and Klitschko included a rematch clause for Klitschko, which the Ukrainian has decided to exercise.
Upon this announcement, the IBF stepped in to say that the Brit has to fight Vyacheslav Glazkov in a mandatory bout before he contends with anyone else.
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IBF chairman Lindsey Tucker has cited Rule 3B Return Bouts, in an interview with World Boxing News, which rules that:
“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.”
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The Fury camp has scoffed at the IBF’s claims. Mick Hennessy, Fury’s promoter, claims that this mandatory bout holds no value to his client. He added that they will bin the IBF belt if the organisation tries to enforce this ruling. ESPN quotes the promoter as saying:
"They shouldn't be doing that and as far as I'm concerned if they want to hustle and bully Tyson into fighting Glazkov, Tyson will end up putting the belt in the bin at a major press conference.
"If they force Tyson to fight Glazkov, it will not happen. Glazkov means nothing, he has zero value.”
In an interview with Sky Sports, Tyson Fury’s trainer and uncle, Peter Fury, said: "Let Tyson get through Klitschko and then we'll face Glazkov.
“We want to face the mandatory fighters, but we don't want to be stripped of a belt when it's not correct.”
The BBC reported early Wednesday morning that the IBF chairman has announced that Tyson Fury no longer holds the IBF title.
The only silver lining to this affair is that Fury is allowed to keep the other two belts and will remain world champion. The holder of the WBC belt, Deontay Wilder, isn’t even ranked in the IBF’s top 15, so it is unlikely that the American will be able to bout for the IBF title before Fury – who is currently ranked third.
Petition to remove Fury from the SPOTY shortlist
The BBC released its shortlist for the prestigious Sports Personality of the Year award, which inevitably included newly anointed world champion Fury.
LGBT campaigner Scott Cuthbertson has created a petition, on Change, to remove Fury from the BBC’s shortlist, which is close to reaching its 150,000 signature checkpoint.
The petition was forged because the champion “repeatedly made degrading, insulting and homophobic and sexist remarks,” said Cuthbertson.
Fortunately for Fury, the BBC have stood by their shortlist as being a mark of sporting achievement and have released the following statement:
"The Sports Personality shortlist is compiled by a panel of industry experts and is based on an individual's sporting achievement - it is not an endorsement of an individual's personal beliefs, either by the BBC or members of the panel."
In any case, the award is decided by a public vote so Fury is unlikely. “You cannot be a d***head and win sports personality of the year,” said the BBC's Clive Myrie.
Accusations of Fury committing a hate crime
The Greater Manchester Police were called concerning comments made by Fury on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show on December 8, which were deemed to be homophobic.
The police will now proceed by taking a statement from the claimant and will then decide whether or not to continue the investigation.
Fury spoke of his views on homosexuality and women, following his acknowledgment of the petition to have him removed from the SPOTY award’s shortlist.
What next for Fury?
It looks like he hasn’t got a leg to stand on when it comes to the IBF situation. He’ll rematch Klitschko and hope to regain enough favour with the IBF to fight the next champion.
The SPOTY subject is a very sketchy one as both sides put in valid points. The award is to recognise great sporting achievement; on the other hand, homophobia should not be tolerated.
Finally, with regards to the potential police investigation, if what Fury said is deemed to be a hate crime then, regardless of his own personal beliefs, it was very stupid to say on air.
None of this should take anything away from the fact that Fury defeated Klitschko - who had ruled the division for nearly a decade.
Who are you voting for Sports Personality of the Year? Give your opinion in the comment box below!