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Exclusive: WBA working with IBF to find Joshua vs Pulev solution

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World Boxing Association President Gilberto Mendoza has informed WBN that he is attempting to find a solution, alongside the IBF, to heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s mandatory situation.

Favored over Klitschko, Joshua was ordered to face Kubrat Pulev and Luis Ortiz before agreeing to a ‘special dispensation’ deal with both organizations before his April triumph.

With a rematch falling apart due to Klitschko retiring from the sport, the IBF and WBA then immediately reactivated their respective mandatories with Joshua.

As the Briton cannot please both sides, WBN asked Mendoza if he would consider stripping Joshua if he faces Pulev. Promoter Eddie Hearn recently described Pulev as ‘the most likely opponent’ for the Olympic gold medallist in November or October.

Joshua vs Pulev

“There is a legal loophole between the special permit and the sanctioning bodies rotation system,” Mendoza explained to World Boxing News.

“The AJ v WK super championship about was approved. The condition was the winner would box Luis Ortiz next. The special permit rules supersede championship rules for exceptional circumstances.

“Anyways, IBF and WBA have a good understanding. I will discuss it with Daryl (Peoples, IBF President).”

Despite stipulations, fans would prefer Joshua to unify with WBC title holder Deontay Wilder. This follows interest from the American and his team.


Joshua seems unlikely to fend off the duo to agree on a massive Showtime Pay-Per-View with Wilder. This means that the fight is off the table until the summer.

That’s barring a startling change of heart.

‘AJ’ looks to be fully booked up for his next two bouts – whatever happens, moving forward. Wilder will remain on hold as Hearn plans a busy 2018 for Joshua to please the governing bodies and keep his championships.

Phil Jay is the Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay.