Exclusive: IBF would consider Joshua v ‘unranked’ Klitschko request for Nov 26

Lorenz Baader / Team Klitschko

IBF Chairman Lindsey Tucker doesn’t foresee any problems sanctioning a potential heavyweight title fight between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko on November 26.

As it stands, former champion Klitschko, who reigned with the IBF for almost a decade until 2015, is currently unranked by the organisation due to the policy of removing fighters who participate in title fights for rival bodies.

The 40-year-old was due to contest the WBO, WBA and IBO versions currently in the possession of Tyson Fury, until the belt holder withdrew from a scheduled October 29 bout citing mental illness. It was the second time in three months Fury had postponed the Klitschko bout and the controversial figure is now facing up to a future without champion status.

As Klitschko is not the mandatory challenger with the WBO, WBA or IBO, the Ukrainian is being lined up to challenge Joshua for his IBF championship and potentially one of those other straps if agreeable to all parties.

Joshua’s promoter has stated negotiations are ongoing between both sides, whilst the IBF updated WBN on the situation from their perspective with less than eight weeks to go until the proposed fight.

“First of all, we have not heard from Eddie Hearn regarding Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko,” Tucker exclusively told World Boxing News.

“But currently, Wladimir Klitschko is not in the IBF Ratings. That’s because he was scheduled to fight Tyson Fury and we can’t consider Klitschko to fight Joshua until he gets in the IBF Ratings.

“Although I’m not the Ratings Chairman, I would think he would put Klitschko in the Ratings if requested,” he added.

Joshua v Klitschko is a huge deal for UK pay-per-view and could net both boxers millions if agreed, whilst a ruling is due to be made on what happens to the titles as Fury gets ready to extend his break from the sport.