It seems Anthony Joshua’s biggest bout isn’t inside the ring with Wladimir Klitschko as we first thought.
Instead, it’s taking place outside the ring as the IBF and WBA could lay down the law to the Brit, in that if he claims the WBA super title next Saturday night, he may need to vacate his IBF heavyweight title to fulfil the mandate required of the WBA champ.
Whilst the IBF want Joshua to face Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev for their title, the WBA would want Joshua to defend his WBA title against Cuban Luis Ortiz, effectively giving him a clash – something both bodies will not willingly concede.
His promoter Eddie Hearn touched on the matter, saying: “If AJ wins, you’re going to get the problem of multiple mandatories coming up.
“So after this fight, AJ’s mandatory is Pulev with the IBF. At some point, maybe not next, but probably this year, the WBA mandatory is Luis Ortiz.
“It’s quite possible he will have to vacate unless a deal can be done.
“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."
Fury had to vacate his title because he could not fulfil the mandate set for him and Hearn believes there would be no exceptions to the rule for AJ.
“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.”
The highly anticipated fight is just a week away, but Joshua has some doubters
Earlier this week, a fan poll voted 78 percent in Joshua’s favour to win the fight, but some don’t believe the heavyweight can overcome his opponent.
Hughie Fury, cousin of the aforementioned Tyson Fury, told Sky Sports his favourite to win would be Klitschko because of his experience.
“I just think it’s a tiny bit too soon for Joshua.”
And cousin Tyson has made his thoughts clear in a series of tweets sent to Joshua earlier this week, most notably his post of a picture of Frank Bruno and the tweet: “@anthonyfjoshua is a poor man @frankbrunoboxer.”
Joshua, of course, responded with: “Shut up & give me a date when you’ll b back! YOU’RE the only reason we haven’t had a fight yet! b about what you say. I ain’t going know where.”
Joshua is preparing for his bout with Klitschko by following another Tyson's regime
In preparation for his fight, Joshua followed in the footsteps of another Tyson, the great Mike Tyson, in his bid to beat Klitschko by performing painful neck stretches that Mike Tyson used to complete as part of his pre-match training.
He will need to be in the best physical condition to beat Klitschko, and if this helps, good luck to him.
Joshua and Klitschko face up at Wembley Stadium in front of 90,000 on Saturday April 29.
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