OLYMPIC gold medallist Anthony Joshua came through the toughest examination of his professional career against Dillian Whyte this month. While Joshua continues to develop there are intriguing fights for him at British and European level, for instance against Dereck Chisora or Robert Helenius. But his popularity, not to mention his knockout power, could drive him on to a world title shot, maybe even before 2016 is out.

“The gameplan is to try to be in a position to fight for a world title next summer,” his promoter Eddie Hearn told Boxing News earlier.

The IBF have stripped Tyson Fury of their world title, a belt which Vyacheslav Glazkov and Charles Martin will contest on January 16. “Obviously the IBF situation is interesting. I wish it was the WBC or the WBO because we’d have been in for the vacant title. But we’re not, we’re [ranked] eight with the IBF so we’re not really close to being in the mix but it’s another person with a belt. Now you’ve got Fury, Glazkov-Martin winner and [Deontay] Wilder [the WBC champion]. You’ve got to fight one of them,” Hearn said.

“It’s going get confusing, the whole heavyweight mix. Because he’s going to have a mandatory. It’s very difficult, in this day and age, to keep hold of belts. The IBF didn’t do anything wrong, they just followed their rules. Both those fighters knew that the winner had to fight Glazkov but they can’t because they’re having a rematch.”

“We’ve got the same problem with Quigg-Frampton. They allowed the fight on the basis that the winner fights Shingo Wake within 90 days,” he added.

Tyson Fury, after dethroning Wladimir Klitschko, is the world’s best heavyweight and holds two of the major titles. Fury versus Joshua would be a huge fight in the UK, but realistically it couldn’t take place before 2017.

“He’s going to fight Klitschko, if he beats him, we might have a belt by then. If he doesn’t, as a challenger if the terms are right we’ll take the fight. Over 1 ½ million pay per view buys, of course it sells out Wembley three times. He’s got to beat Klitschko first, that’s not a given. I think he will,” Hearn mused. “These mega-fights take time.”