TERENCE CRAWFORD has been stripped of his IBF title and is no longer the undisputed champion.
The 36-year-old ‘Bud’ earned that accolade when he beat Errol Spence Jr via a ninth round TKO back in July.
That stretched his unbeaten record to 40-0 and secured him all four welterweight belts.
However, his inability to defend the IBF strap against mandatory challenger Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis due to his rematch clause with Spence Jr has led to the organisation taking away his IBF crown.
And it has resulted in Ennis being elevated from interim title holder to full champion.
An IBF spokesperson told BoxingScene.com: “On August 25, the IBF sent a letter to TBC Promotions directing Terence Crawford to begin negotiations with interim champion Jaron Ennis. Negotiations were to be concluded by September 24.
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“On September 22, the IBF received an email from Harrison Whitman representing Crawford indicating that the agreement for the Spence vs. Crawford bout contains an immediate rematch provision which Errol Spence has exercised.
“As such, Terrence Crawford is unable to engage in negotiations with Jaron Ennis.”
The contract Crawford and Spence Jr allowed the loser of that showdown to activate a rematch clause.
But sanctioning bodies do not consider such rematch regulations as a reason to avoid mandatory defences – with the IBF’s rule 3.B prohibiting it.
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They confirmed: “No contract for a Championship contest shall contain any clause or any 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 defence of a title.
“Based on the forgoing, the IBF has withdrawn recognition of Terence Crawford as the IBF welterweight world champion.”
Ennis claimed the interim IBF belt with a unanimous decision victory over Karen Chukhadzhian on January 7.
He was then permitted to challenge for the interim IBF title, which he defended by knocking out Roiman Villa in the ninth round on July 9.
That bout came with the official ruling from the IBF that he would next challenge the winner of the Crawford and Spence bout.
No official comment has yet been made by Crawford, while no date has been set for his rematch with Spence Jr.
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