ANTHONY JOSHUA and Wladimir Klitschko will contest two world heavyweight titles when they meet at Wembley Stadium on April 29, but the winner will most likely have to give one up.
Joshua’s IBF title and the vacant WBA belt will be on the line in April but both organisations have recently confirmed mandatory challengers for the winner.
WBA president Gilberto Mendoza recently revealed that unbeaten Cuban Luis Ortiz is their mandatory challenger and the IBF – according to promoters Kalle and Nisse Sauerland – have mandated that the Joshua-Klitschko winner must fight Kubrat Pulev.
CONFIRMED: winner of #JoshuaKlitschko must face IBF Mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev in the next fight (no fights in between permitted)
— Kalle+NisseSauerland (@SauerlandBros) December 22, 2016
The WBA have not yet confirmed any deadlines for their mandatory, but if they too insist the Joshua-Klitschko winner must make an immedate defence against Ortiz, then that victor will have a choice to make over which defence they go with, and thus which belt they keep.
However, as Ortiz is promoted by Matchroom Boxing – who also promote Joshua – should the Londoner prevail over Klitschko, there may be a way of him keeping both belts. For example, Ortiz could be persuaded to step aside – for a fee, and an assurance he’d fight the winner – while Joshua deals with the IBF mandatory against Pulev.
If Klitschko were to beat Joshua, it seems likely he would stick with the WBA title given that he would only fight Joshua if that belt were also on the line.
Pulev became IBF mandatory challenger when previous No 1 Joseph Parker won the WBO title, and so was removed from the IBF rankings.