Anthony Joshua could lose title belt following IBF, WBA mandatory confliction

Anthony Joshua

Ed Mulholland

Just hours after supposed opponent Wladimir Klitschko retired from the ring, mandatory challengers were lining up for their shot at unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.

Promoter Eddie Hearn admitted IBF number one ‘Kubrat Pulev was almost certain to be next’ when speaking on the matter in the aftermath, although the WBA have moved to order the Briton to face Luis Ortiz instead.

Hearn now has a fight on his hands to keep both organisations happy following a press release made public by the WBA on Thursday.

It read:

The World Boxing Association Championships Committee ordered the teams behind British Anthony Joshua, current Heavyweight Champion, and Cuban Luis Ortiz, number one in the ranking at more than 200 pounds, to start negotiations for a fight between them.

According to the resolution sent on January 11th, 2017, to both parties, it was reported that the winner of the Joshua-Klitschko fight, held on April 29th, 2017, had to face Ortiz after 120 days. 95 days have passed and, for this reason, the Championships Committee ordered to negotiate a fight between the British and Cuban boxers.

Both parties were duly notified that, as of August 3rd, they have 30 days to reach an agreement or the fight will be called to purse bids.

Obviously Joshua won’t be able to please everyone and the likliness of the former Olympic gold medallist dropping one of his three championships in the near future has increased significantly.

Whether this news will lead to Joshua vacating his straps in favor of challenging WBC ruler Deontay Wilder instead of Ortiz or Pulev remains to be seen.