Why Tyson Fury will be stripped of his world title immediately if he beats Oleksandr Usyk

Fury currently holds The Ring and WBC heavyweight title belts
Why Tyson Fury will be stripped of his world title immediately if he beats Oleksandr Usyk -Credit:Top Rank via Getty Images

Although Tyson Fury may become the undisputed heavyweight world champion tonight, it's unlikely he'll retain all four belts for an extended period.

Fury is set to battle Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia, hoping to become the first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999. This fight will also mark the first time all four belts are up for grabs, with only three being available 25 years ago.

However, Filip Hrgovic, the long-serving mandatory to IBF champion Usyk, won't idly wait for a second Fury-Usyk duel set for October. Instead, he is scheduled to go head-to-head with Daniel Dubois for the IBF title this June, and the victor is poised to challenge Anthony Joshua at the Wembley stadium come September.

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This sequence of events means that the second Fury-Usyk bout in October will only have three belts on stake.

The IBF also promptly stripped Fury of his title after he bested Wladimir Klitschko in 2015. Fury had agreed to a rematch clause in his contract with Klitschko, thus barring him from fighting mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov.

However, Fury ended up cancelling the rematch and relinquished his remaining two titles due to depression exacerbated by alcohol and drug abuse, reports the Mirror. Consequently, he was sidelined from the ring circuit for nearly three years.

Still, if Fury triumphs tonight, he has plans to instantly part with his titles, handing them over to Saudi boxing impresario Turki Alalshikh. "I've actually promised His Excellency Turki Alalshikh that when I win all these belts, I give every one to him as a present," he disclosed.

"I read a lot of comments from people saying that there is four belts, but let's just get this clear people. There is a lot more than four belts on the line. You have IBO, IBF,WBO,WBA,WBC, Ring Magazine and Lineal. So for all you motherf*****s out there who thought it was four, it is actually seven on the line."

Usyk is hoping to earn the prestigious title of an undisputed champion for the second time, having gained fame at cruiserweight before graduating to the heavyweight division and defeating Anthony Joshua. He held victories over the British boxer twice before he made Daniel Dubois admit defeat last August, retaining his titles.