Joshua’s next move: If Klitschko refuses it’s Pulev, says Hearn

Anthony Joshua

Ed Mulholland

Despite several reports a rematch between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko is happening next, promoter Eddie Hearn has admitted the return still hangs in the balance.

Joshua and Klitschko shared an entertaining battle in April and Klitschko is expected to announce an official decision on envoking the clause for a second fight soon.

Despite no certain decision, Hearn has begun working on the basis that Klitschko II is next up for Joshua until something on the contrary comes back from K2 

“People keep saying is there a deadline? The situation is the fight is happening unless we are told otherwise by Bernd Boente and Wladimir Klitschko,” Hearn told The Telegraph before revealing the IBF could be on board with an exemption request put forward to delay a mandatory fight with Kubrat Pulev.

“I think we will get a full decision on that this week. We are confident that a fight of that magnitude, with the guarantee of course Pulev fighting next.

“We can’t not fight Pulev, he’s not going to go away and we’re not looking to shirk that fight.

“If we don’t fight Klitschko, the Pulev fight will 100 per cent be next. If we do fight Klitschko, the Pulev fight will 100 per cent be next after that. I think the IBF know that,” he added.

Pulev’s handlers at Sauerland have worked closesly with Hearn in the past, which would be favourable to a potential spot on the Joshua v Klitschko II undercard for the Bulgarian before the winner steps up to face him next year.

So, Joshua currently has a two fight shortlist for what is due to be a November or December outing, with several venues around the globe being considered by Hearn.