World heavyweight champion given permission by WBA to skip mandatory title defence against Luis Ortiz
ANTHONY JOSHUA’S blockbuster rematch against Wladimir Klitschko “looks like it’s going to happen”, according to Eddie Hearn.
The world heavyweight champion and his promoter have been given the green light by the WBA to skip mandatory challenger Luis Ortiz.
And Hearn is confident the same pass will be given by the IBF to hold off Kubrat Pulev for a later date.
Keep up to date with all the latest Anthony Joshua news in the build-up to his next fight
He told iFL TV: “There’s the IBF convention this week, we’ve put in a ‘special exception request’ to fight Klitschko next.
“The WBA is a little bit more clear, we’ll be allowed an exception request, whether we’re allowed one with the IBF, I think we’re favourite but we’re not a shoo-in.”
Hearn said that the Klitschko camp are sounding like they are up for the rematch – even though Joshua appears intent on taking on fellow youngsters.
He said: “We want to fight Klitschko next and the noise from Klitschko’s camp is – that’s what’s going to happen, the indication we have had from the Klitschko camp is that this fight will happen again.”
Hearn added that the details of the fight such as where it will be held, the date it’ll take place and of course the numbers will all be discussed over the next few weeks.
He said: “We’re looking into the numbers, where it’s going to take place, the date it’s going to take place, and that’s all going to be discussed over the next few weeks.”
Hearn is confident that Joshua will face Klitschko next for a rematch to their record breaking fight last month in front of 90,000 fight fans at Wembley, where Joshua came out victorious stopping the Ukrainian in the 11th round to win the IBF, WBA and IBO titles.
And he has revealed who he wants AJ’s next three opponents to be.
But if it doesn’t happen, then Joshua will be fighting IBF mandatory challenger Pulev.
Hearn said the Klitschko fight will “more than likely” happen, but “if not, then it’s Pulev.”
He explained: “Kalle Sauerland is Pulev’s promoter, we have an open link there but Kalle Sauerland is representing Pulev, he wants Pulev to fight Joshua.
“He also doesn’t want to lose that fight, the last thing he wants is to have to fight maybe a [Carlos] Takam for a vacant title for no money – when he’s got the carrot of the Joshua fight which is the one he wants.”
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Speaking of the IBF request, Hearn points out that Sauerland and Pulev have objected to Matchroom Sports’ request to the IBF for a step-a-side.
Hearn said: “They have objected to the IBF request, as they should and we’ll see how they rule.
“But I’ll say again, we can not escape the Pulev fight, we are having the Pulev fight, whether that is next, or the one after.”
Hearn explained the importance of Joshua keeping all his world titles, saying he wants him to be the undisputed champion.
He added: “I want him to be the undisputed champ and that means winning all the belts, but again, as I’ve always stressed, I won’t let the belts and the politics get in the way of Anthony’s progression.
“So hopefully we can deal with our mandatories and be in the super-fights.”