Exclusive: Joshua Commonwealth status unaffected by Martin clash

WBN have been informed by the Commonwealth Boxing Council that star fighter Anthony Joshua would remain heavyweight champion win or lose against Charles Martin next month.

Speculation had circulated that Joshua was ready to vacate the belt in the run up to his IBF title challenge against the American at London’s O2 Arena, although the CBC are yet to be handed anything official from Joshua or his promoter Eddie Hearn.

Joshua is currently favourite with bookmakers to overthrow Martin and win the world crown on April 9, although should the unthinkable happen, ‘AJ’ will have his intergovernmental status to fall back on.

“The CBC haven’t heard any news concerning Joshua vacating and he is under no pressure from us, having fulfilled his mandatory last December,” Hon. Secretary Simon Block exclusively told World Boxing News.

“A loss to Martin will not affect his title. Martin is not a Commonwealth boxer and even if he were, a Commonwealth champion cannot lose his title to a Commonwealth world champion of any description. Nor can he be stripped if losing against another Commonwealth boxer in a world championship contest.

“For example, if Stiverne had beaten Wilder and then beaten Joshua in a defence, Joshua would have remained Commonwealth champion,” he added.

At 26, Joshua heads into his first crack at the top division title on the back of 15 knockouts in 15 wins since capturing a gold medal at the Olympic Games in London four years ago.

The big-punching star defeated Gary Cornish in just one round to pick up what was his first meaningful belt in September before defending it successfully against Dillian Whyte three months later.