THE heavyweight division is in a state of flux. Tyson Fury has withdrawn from his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko due to a medical issue, cancelling their clash for the WBA and WBO heavyweight titles which had been scheduled for October 29. Despite the disappointment of the champion being out of action, other intriguing possibilities have been raised. Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko is under discussion.
On Saturday morning, the day after the news broke, Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, had a long conversation with Bernd Boente, the head of the Klitschko management group.
“They like the fight against Joshua, we like the fight against Klitschko,” Hearn said. Joshua does have an IBF heavyweight title defence scheduled for November 26 in the Manchester Arena and is currently without an opponent. It’s unlikely though that Wladimir could be drafted in so quickly to fill vacancy.
“I don’t think they’d want to be a voluntary challenger for Joshua’s IBF title, it puts them in a weaker negotiating spot,” Hearn stated. “I believe Tyson Fury will be stripped of all his titles, that’s what I believe. He can be put into recess, which I think that’s what they’ll do.” After an injury a titlist can be made a ‘champion in recess’, giving him the right to challenge for the title when he’s recovered.
“Now everyone will be like a piranha, Lucas Browne will be saying ‘me against Klitschko for the WBA title’. WBO, who’s it going to be, etc. etc. Peter Fury, Mick Hennessy and Tyson Fury will now get on the legal battle to keep the belt. It’s going to take time. Talking through the deal with Bernd Boente it’s a deal that would be very easy to do but it’s just the politics around it. My gut feeling it will happen in spring/summer of next year and we’ll fight Joseph Parker on November 26, get the mandatory out the way. I think he will fight for the vacant title and then I think we’ll fight because we’ve got the basis of the deal. It was that good a conversation. He is up for it. I spoke to Joshua and he is up for it,” Hearn continued.
“It feels a little bit too early. I think he beats Klitschko, I do,” the promoter mused. “Also some people say well Joseph Parker might be just as tough a fight as Wladimir Klitschko. You don’t know what he’s got left. He looked awful in his last fight. Was that because Fury was brilliant or is it because he’s finished? Both I think. I think he’s done. But he’s still very good. It’s not really the power, the strength, it’s just the experience. That’s the only worrying thing for me for Joshua in that fight. He’s had 18 fights. But the conversation was so good, it was Bernd Boente saying we’ve had enough, we need to fight now. It’s just can they force the governing body’s arm?”