Planet heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has been stripped of his IBF title much less than two weeks soon after winning it.
The Briton, 27, had to agree to fight the IBF’s mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov but will as an alternative face Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch.
Fury beat Ukrainian Klitschko on points on 28 November to claim three versions of the heavyweight crown.
Lindsey Tucker, championships chairman at the IBF, told BBC Sport: “It’s true he’s been stripped of his IBF belt.”
He added: “Our challenger was Vyacheslav Glazkov, but as an alternative Fury’s gone and signed a rematch clause with Wladimir Klitschko.”
Fury, who is unbeaten in 25 specialist contests, retains the WBA and WBO versions of the heavyweight title, while the WBC belt is held by American Deontay Wilder.
The 31-year-old Glazkov, also a Ukrainian, has won 21 of his 22 specialist fights.
The contract for final month’s title fight in Dusseldorf integrated a clause for a rematch, for which the date and the venue have to be decided, and Klitschko – who had been world champion for 11 years – announced final week he would take up the option.
Fury has been at the centre of controversy following his comments about women and gay people.
The Manchester fighter has been quoted as saying a woman’s “best spot is on her back” and has criticised homosexuality and abortion.
He subsequently mentioned: “Tyson Fury loves his fellow humans. He does not hate anybody.”
Meanwhile, Higher Manchester Police are investigating an allegation of hate crime against Fury after a complaint was received following comments the fighter produced on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme.