Exclusive: IBO confirm Joshua v Klitschko sanction request would be approved

Phil Jay 15/10/2016

Lorenz Baader / Team Klitschko

International Boxing Organisation President Ed Levine is ready to give the go ahead to any sanction request for the heavyweight clash between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko.

Promoter Eddie Hearn is working with Klitschko’s handlers KMG to finalize a massive top division clash for December 10 in the UK for Joshua’s IBF championship and possibly the newly vacated WBA, WBO and IBO versions.

As the WBO are currently contemplating a vacant title tournament or the sanctioning of the first two contenders in Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz, only the WBA and IBO belts remain on the table for Joshua v Klitschko.

Levine has now moved to lay his cards on the table and says any request from Hearn and KMG would be met with positivity, meaning Joshua v Klitschko would then become at least a two-belt battle.

“If Joshua v Klitschko is finalized and sanctioning is requested it certainly would be approved,” Levine exclusively told World Boxing News.

“IBO championship rules require that the vacant title shall be sanctioned for the leading available contenders. Wladimir Klitschko is ranked number one in our rankings and Anthony Joshua is the IBF champion.

“The fight is very compelling to see if the future of the heavyweight division is ready for the dominant champion of the last decade,” he added.

Joshua v Klitschko could be formally announced as early as Monday, according to Hearn – and with the WBA also likely to act favorably towards the fight – the potential is there to make the pay-per-view offering a three-strap unification.