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IBF: Tyson Fury must face mandatory challenger next or lose title

Tyson Fury is already at risk of losing the IBF title that he won just days ago, as the sanctioning body says his mandatory title defense takes precedent over a rematch with Klitschko.

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Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Almost all of us were expecting a rematch between Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury to take place early next year, and if it does happen, Fury could be holding one less title belt by the time the first bell rings. Despite Tyson Fury's trainer and uncle, Peter Fury, believing that the contracted rematch with Klitschko would take precedence over a mandatory title defense, IBF Chairman Lindsey Tucker says just the opposite is true.

"To be clear, Tyson Fury must fight Vyacheslav Glazkov next. If they agree terms before December 11 we cancel the purse bid. If it goes to a purse bid, the winning bidder has 90 days to do the fight," Tucker explained to World Boxing News.

"Regarding the Klitschko rematch taking precedence, it's just the opposite as the mandatory takes priority of the re-match."

Tucker explains that this rationale is pursuant to IBF rules and if Fury wants to ahead with the Klitschko rematch straight away, he'll be one belt lighter.

"In fact 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."

Fury had been said to want to keep all of his titles and fulfill all of his mandatory defenses, but he's in a bit of a pickle here and will be tasked with making a tough decision. Uneasy lies the head that wears the gypsy crown...

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