The International Boxing Federation have confirmed to WBN that Anthony Joshua and Carlos Takam are the next two heavyweights being considered for a final eliminator.
As Joshua is ranked five and Takam is rated at six, those two challengers will be ordered to meet in the coming months for a world title chance that is already stipulated to be finalised by the end of the year.
As it stood, Charles Martin, Vyacheslav Glazkov and Erkan Teper were the only three names above Joshua in the IBF standings, and whilst the first two met earlier this month for the vacant title, Teper is under investigation for positive drugs tests.
That leaves Joshua and Takam in pole position to fight it out to challenge Martin in his first mandatory defense early next year following the American’s third round stoppage win over Glazkov last weekend.
“As with all eliminators, the IBF starts out with the two highest ranked contenders and currently four Erkan Teper and five Anthony Joshua are the two highest ranked contenders,” Tucker explained to World Boxing News.
“However, there is an issue with Teper and his drug test results so we are waiting for that to get resolved.
“The winner of a vacant heavyweight title (Charles Martin) gets one year. However, we must notify the champion at least 60 days prior to the mandatory due date.
“The winner of the heavyweight eliminator (Joshua v Takam/Teper) will be notified approximately on November 16, 2016 to start negotiating with the champion,” he added.
Joshua is set to return to action on April 9 at The O2 Arena in London in what has been described as a step-up from recent domestic opposition such as Dillian Whyte, whilst Takam is yet to divulge details of his next contest.
It doesn’t seem likely that Takam will be sharing a ring with Joshua as early as the spring, but the pair could be put together by the summer or autumn ahead of a world title shot for the winner in early 2017.