Boxing News

Hearn: Joshua may have to vacate IBF title if he wins

Joshua vs Klitschko

Eddie Hearn has admitted that if Anthony Joshua defeats Wladimir Klitschko, he may still be forced to ditch his IBF Heavyweight Title.

Joshua will square off against Klitschko on April 29th at Wembley Stadium, where he will defend his IBF crown while also competing for the WBA and IBO titles.

However, while enjoying the spoils of war, the winner will also face a most difficult decision – which mandatory challenger should they face?

The IBF will require their champion to face Kubrat Pulev while the WBA will request that the winner challenge Luis Ortiz.

Eddie Hearn is unclear which route Joshua will take should he emerge victorious on April 29th, but knows it is unlikely the winner will retain all the belts.

“It’s quite possible he will have to vacate one of them unless a deal can be done,” said Hearn. “I’m not really concerned about belts. I’d love him to have all the belts, but as Tyson Fury found out, that’s not really possible.

“The same thing which could happen to AJ happened to Tyson Fury. His mandatory was due, he wouldn’t fight his mandatory, and he lost the belt.

“It would be the same for Anthony Joshua, and there would be no exceptions to the rule.

“If that is the case, we’ll have to make the best decision for his future.”

“AJ has to fight Pulev next. This is effectively classed as a unification bout because you have a vacant belt on the line. This is the unification which is avoided the Pulev fight for now.”

Azeem Sarwar
Boxing coach. Professional troublemaker. Donut connoisseur.

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