Exclusive: WBA working with IBF to find Joshua v Pulev / Ortiz mandatory solution
World Boxing Association President Gilberto Mendoza has informed WBN he is attempting to find a solution, alongside the IBF, to heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s mandatory situation.
Joshua, who was favored to beat Klitschko with oddsmakers at NetBet, was ordered to face Kubrat Pulev and Luis Ortiz prior to agreeing a ‘special dispensation’ deal with both organisations before his April triumph.
With a rematch falling apart due to Klitschko retiring from the sport, the IBF and WBA then reactivated their respective mandatories with Joshua immediately.
As the Briton is unable to please both sides, WBN asked Mendoza if he would consider stripping Joshua if he faces Pulev, who promoter Eddie Hearn recently described as ‘the most likely opponent’ for the Olympic gold medallist in November or October.
“There is a legal loophole between the special permit and the sanctioning bodies rotation system,” Mendoza exclusively explained to World Boxing News.
“The AJ v WK super championship bout was approved conditioning the winner to box Luis Ortiz in he next bout. The special permit rules supersedes championships rules for special circumstances.
“Anyways, there is good understanding between IBF and WBA and I will discuss it with Daryl (Peoples, IBF President).”
Despite having stipulations in place, fans would prefer Joshua to unify with WBC title holder Deontay Wilder following interest from the American and his team.
With Pulev and Ortiz in the way, it seems highly unlikely Joshua would be able to fend off the duo in order to agree a massive Showtime Pay-Per-View with Wilder, meaning that fight is off the table until the summer barring a startling change of heart.
‘AJ’ looks to be fully booked up for his next two bouts – whatever happens moving forward – and Wilder will remain on hold as Hearn plans a busy 2018 for Joshua in order the please the governing bodies and keep his championships.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay