It took boxing 25 years to crown an undisputed heavyweight champion before sanctioning body semantics forced the title to lose its luster in just five weeks. 

Oleksandr Usyk announced on social media Tuesday that he is vacating his IBF title ahead of the Anthony Joshua versus Daniel Dubois fight on Sept. 21 at Wembley Stadium in London, which will be officially announced on Wednesday as Riyadh Season’s first event in the United Kingdom.

“Anthony and Daniel, listen – I know the IBF title is important to you. It is my present to you for September 21,” Usyk posted.

Usyk’s manager, Egis Klimas, confirmed to BoxingScene that Usyk has vacated the IBF title as the fighter prepares for a rematch against Tyson Fury on Dec. 21 following his split decision win against Fury on May 18.

The IBF made it clear heading into Usyk and Fury’s two-fight deal that it would stick to its rules and force the winner to face the long-overdue mandatory challenger or be stripped of the title.

On June 1, Dubois knocked out Filip Hrgovic, the long-overdue IBF mandatory challenger at the time, to win the interim IBF crown

IBF president Daryl Peoples said earlier this month that the organization would decide whether or not Joshua vs. Dubois will be contested for the full title. 

Before the Dubois-Hrgovic fight, Usyk filed for an exception with the IBF to avoid being stripped of the title.

Usyk (22-0, 14 KOs) – who already has two decision wins against Joshua and a knockout against Dubois – still owns the WBC, WBA, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine titles.

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at] or via

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