The International Boxing Federation have informed WBN that the winner of next week’s heavyweight unification between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko must then face their number one challenger.
This week, a UK news source had stated an immediate rematch clause was in the contracts of both Joshua and Klitschko, leading to the possibility of a second bout whatever the outcome.
WBN put this to the IBF’s Chairman Lindsey Tucker, who exclusively told World Boxing News:
“The IBF are not aware of any rematch clause for the Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko fight. We expect the winner of the April 29 unification to do the IBF mandatory next.”
Joshua would be expected to face the winner of IBF number one Kubrat Pulev’s contest with American Kevin Johnson, which takes place the day before the record-breaking Wembley Stadium showdown.
With the WBA also ready to stipulate a mandatory against Luis Ortiz for the Joshua v Klitschko winner, 2017 could prove to be a busy year for the new unified king of the division.
Facing Pulev around the summer time and then Ortiz by November looks to be on the cards for either Joshua or Klitschko, something that could put the breaks on any more attempts to unify further.
Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker are known to be keen observers of the Joshua v Klitschko situation, with a view to potentially putting their belts in the mix for a massive payday in the UK.
Respective promoters for both Joshua and Klitschko would have to strike a deal with the IBF in order to avoid giving Pulev, a strong favorite against Johnson, his opportunity in a division that is at it’s most exciting point for some years.