The controversial boxer had to announce a comeback fight against a high quality opponent in the Ring Magazine rankings by Wednesday if he wanted to keep hold of his belt.

But failure to do so has resulted in the 29-year-old losing the Ring Magazine heavyweight title he won following his victory over Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015.

Having already surrendered the WBO, WBA and IBF belts he won that night, the so-called ’Bible of Boxing’ have now stripped Tyson Fury of another title too.

In a statement, the Ring Magazine said: “The Ring heavyweight championship is now vacant. There have been a variety of obstacles which prevented Fury from defending the championship over the past 26 months.

“Among them was the ill-fated Klitschko rematch, Fury’s mental health issues, a UKAD investigation and the revocation of his British boxing license.

“With all these issues now cleared, The Ring set a deadline (January 31) for Fury to reveal an opponent. However, no such announcement has been made by the fighter’s promoter, hence the decision to remove Fury as champion. Fury will also be removed from the Ring heavyweight rankings for the time being.

“We at The Ring would like to make it clear that this decision had not been taken lightly. The Ring championship belt is the closest representation to a lineal champion in the sport today, and Tyson Fury was extremely proud to be part of our heavyweight history.

“We deeply regret separating from the lineal championship and we would hope that fans appreciate our reasons for giving Tyson every opportunity over the past two years. We wish our former champion the very best for the future and we will be happy to re-rank him when appropriate.

“For the record, the vacant Ring heavyweight championship will not be on the line in the IBF, WBA and WBO title unification bout between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker, which takes place in Cardiff, Wales, on March 31. Joshua and Parker are rated No. 1 and No. 3 by The Ring respectively.

“There have been occasions when a vacant RING championship has been contested between No. 1- and No. 3-rated contenders. However, after careful consideration, we do not feel Joshua-Parker qualifies. At this time, the Ring ratings panel unanimously believe that Deontay Wilder is the second-best heavyweight in the world on merit.”

Fury is currently in training ahead of his return to the ring and is targeting his next bout for April or May.

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