Anthony Joshua to be stripped of IBF title
- Anthony Joshua could be stripped of one of his newly-won belts
- Promoter Eddie Hearn says Joshua has ‘no problem’ giving up IBF world title
- A rematch with Wladimir Klitschko would see him drop the belt
- IBF insist mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev must be his next opponent
Anthony Joshua could be stripped of one of his newly-won belts before his next fight, because of a rematch clause with Wladimir Klitschko.
Joshua added IBO and WBA Super World Heavyweight belts to the IBF belt that he already held by knocking out the Ukrainian last week.
But now he could have to give up the IBF title, just as Tyson Fury did after defeating Klitschko, because the federation has a mandatory challenger who he must fight next.
Anthony Joshua could be forced to give up his IBF belt, one of three he won last week
Joshua added the IBO and WBA belts to his IBF title by knocking out Wladimir Klitschko
But Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says his fighter has ‘no problem’ dropping the IBF belt
Fury was also stripped of the IBF belt, because he, like Joshua, had agreed to a rematch with Klitschko.
And Joshua would be happy to do the same, with a rematch prioritised over a bout with mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev, according to promoter, and Sportsmail columnist, Eddie Hearn.
‘Talks with the IBF and Pulev’s promoter Team Sauerland are ongoing,’ Hearn told the Sun.
‘By the weekend we should have some clarity but it is very complicated.
‘We don’t want to drop the IBF belt but if we have to we’ll have no problem doing exactly that.
‘We won’t let boxing politics get in the way of AJ’s progression. Ideally, we want all the belts but when you get close, it becomes difficult because of situations like this.
‘This is not going away, the IBF always follow their rules just as they did with Fury.
‘We could look to do a deal with Pulev and try to make an interim bout for the belt — with the winner of that to face AJ.’
Joshua defeated Klitschko on Saturday and is expected to face a rematch as his next fight
Tyson Fury was stripped of the IBF title for the same reason when he beat Klitschko