Anthony Joshua or Wladimir Klitschko will celebrate becoming a three-belt heavyweight champion on April 29 in London, but it could be just a matter of days before either will be relieved of one of those titles.
The current mandatory situation thrown up by the International Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Association has meant it could become impossible for Joshua or Klitschko to adhere to the rules.
Despite the IBF stipulating that Kubrat Pulev is next in line and Joshua or Klitschko cannot take any other fight in the interim, WBA President Gilberto Mendoza has done similar with Cuban brute Luis Ortiz.
Ortiz has been ordered to meet the winner of Joshua v Klitschko for their ‘super’ title, rather than pitting the new Matchroom signing against Shannon Briggs for the currently vacant ‘regular’ belt. Due to the failed WBC Clean Boxing Program drug test by Lucas Browne, a fight against Briggs remains up in the air, although the WBA are yet to fully disclose any details of their ruling on the matter.
This ultimately means Joshua or Klitschko will be unable to complete mandatory duties with both the IBF and WBA, something that unfortunately happened to Tyson Fury back in November 2015.
Fury defeated Klitschko to claim the Ukrainian’s clutch of titles but was immediately stripped of the IBF version, a decision that didn’t go down well in the UK and had a helping hand in the 27 year-old subsequently going off the rails.
A Joshua win would more than likely mean an in-house clash with Luis Ortiz, which would then only be for the WBA and IBO belts, whilst a Klitschko victory would favour a Pulev clash for the IBF and IBO straps.
Joshua v Ortiz would leave Pulev to potentially face David Haye for the vacant IBF crown, whilst Klitschko versus the Bulgarian would then leave Ortiz to taken on the WBA’s next in line or whoever wins the vacant ‘regular’ version.