Klitschko to announce Joshua II decision after IBF exception ruling
According to reports in his native Ukraine, former world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko is still yet to officially decide on a rematch with recent opponent Anthony Joshua.
Klitschko, 41, lost out in eleven rounds of a highly-entertaining clash with Joshua last month at Wembley Stadium and has since been rumored to have invoked a return clause stipulated in the pre-fight contract.
Despite Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn beginning the search for possible venues for a second helping, including Las Vegas, Cardiff and the Middle East, Klitschko is apparently waiting for the result of an IBF exception request made by Matchroom Boxing.
Joshua had been expected to defend his title against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev as per mandatory rules, although Hearn has lobbied IBF President Daryl Peoples for a delay in the bout in order to follow-up with Klitschko.
The IBF had said this to WBN last week:
“The IBF received an exception request from Matchroom on behalf of Anthony Joshua.
“I’m expecting a reply from Sauerland on behalf of Pulev. The Board will consider the exception request during the convention next week and determine what actions the IBF will take.
“The Board will consider the exception request during the convention next week and determine what actions the IBF will take as soon as a decision has been made.”
That decision is due any day now as the IBF Convention continues to take place in Florida, something Klitschko will hold on for prior to making a formal decision on his own future.
Should the IBF reject the exception request stripping Joshua of the red belt, Klitschko could be in line to fight Pulev himself and be handed the opportunity to win a third world heavyweight championship against a foe he previously knocked out in fine style.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay