“Tyson Fury will be stripped of the IBF heavyweight world title if he agrees to a rematch with former world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.”
That was the opening sentence in an article titled “Tyson Fury to be stripped of IBF title if he agrees to Wladimir Klitschko Rematch” in the December 4th edition of the Independent.co,uk.
A little further down the article it said.
“Fellow Ukrainian Vyacheslav Glazkov is currently ranked No 1 to Fury’s title by the IBF, but the British boxer is obliged to face Klitschko again after he invoked a rematch clause included in their original contract. Both Fury’s and Klitschko’s camp have brought up the possibility of the rematch taking place at Wembley Stadium, but the IBF want Fury to face Glazkov first.”
Let me see if I have this correct, and believe me I know the main goal of the sanction bodies only exist to rip fighters off with their bloated fees to sanction their title bouts. Wladimir Klitschko has been the dominant heavyweight fighter and title holder in professional boxing for at least the past eight years, and if you want to get technical, you could say he’s been at the top of the food chain for the past 10 years. Since the end of the Muhammad Ali era, with the exception of a flash minute during Mike Tyson’s reign as champ, the heavyweight title has been splintered. And that added to the perception that the once most prestigious title in sports had evolved into a joke.
During Wladimir’s reign as champ he never got full credit for how truly formidable and dominant he was because he was never considered unbeatable, although he was feared. And if you don’t believe that, go back and look at how some of his title challengers reacted once he planted them with something that landed flush and clean. I’ll grant you, many of his title bouts weren’t terribly exciting, like Floyd Mayweather’s, because like Floyd’s challengers, Klitschko’s weren’t good enough to make him do anything he didn’t want to do until he fought Tyson Fury last month.
However, the one thing Wladimir brought with him every time he took his robe off and was about to defend his title was, everyone watching in attendance and on television knew – he was the fighter to beat in the heavyweight division, end of story! Nothing could deliver a heavyweight fighter instant notoriety and credibility like defeating Wladimir Klitschko for the title belts he owned. This was about the only thing in the heavyweight division that wasn’t disputed. Maybe there weren’t many fans who could recite who the top two or three heavyweight contenders were, but they all knew the big Russian guy who resembled Ivan Drago from Rocky IV was the man to beat. And that was a good thing because regardless of how pedestrian the other contenders were perceived to be, at least Klitschko kept things in order because he had final say in the division. Something that came to a sudden halt on November 28th when Tyson Fury out-thought and out-fought him for the better part of 12-rounds.
Right now there is only one fight in the heavyweight division that a majority of fans and observers care about and that’s Fury-Klitschko II. For the first time in years there is a heavyweight bout that has some compelling things attached to it….such as, is Fury really good, did Klitschko take him lightly the first time, is Wladimir finished and on a severe decline at age 39? There are numerous other things that add to what the drama would be for Fury-Klitschko II, and that’s why it’s a laugh out loud joke and embarrassment that the IBF is threatening to strip Fury of their title if he gives Klitschko an immediate rematch!
“I think it’s totally unfair and unprofessional from the IBF, because Tyson was crowned champion only on Saturday,” Peter Fury added. “With all this carry on, they’re giving us no time. They should be happy he holds the belt and is fighting again in the biggest fight out there. The winner would then take the IBF mandatory.”
Peter Fury is right. Let the boxing public find out if Tyson Fury is the new man to beat in the heavyweight division, or did Wladimir Klitschko just have an off night at almost 40 years old? If Fury were to defend the title against Vyacheslav Glazkov and lose, the titles in the division would be fractured again and nobody would care about Klitschko, Fury or Glazkov and that’s not a good thing. Let the IBF take their title if they want, because everyone will know that the rematch winner between Fury and Klitschko will be the rightful owner of it, regardless of their theatrics.
Fury did what no other fighter has been able to do in a decade, and that was beat Wladimir Klitschko fair and square with the title on the line. The hell with the IBF. Let Fury and Klitschko settle their issue and then the winner can defend against Glazkov. This way at least we’ll know going into the fight whether or not it’s Klitschko or Fury as to who the man to beat is in the heavyweight division. And if Glazkov beats the winner, then he’s the man and he’ll have even more credibility as the new title holder.
That’s how it’s worked since the beginning of the gloved era in professional boxing!
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com