As the world awaits a verdict from Deontay Wilder on whether he’ll accept an offer from Eddie Hearn to put his WBC belt on the line in a massive undisputed clash with Anthony Joshua in Britain, there’s a huge flip side to the fight not taking place.
Mandatories are due with all the major organizations for BOTH heavyweight title holders, meaning the fighters in line will be on red alert.
Joshua holds the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO versions, whilst Wilder has the coveted WBC belt – with two stipulated contenders already patiently waiting for their shots.
With the WBA and WBO, Alexander Povetkin is pushing to face Joshua in September on UK soil, whilst the IBF have given ‘AJ’ a reprieve by ordering a final eliminator between formerly scheduled opponent Kubrat Pulev and former foe Dillian Whyte.
This is where it gets even more complicated as Wilder has Dominic Breazeale awaiting his summer shot and Whyte is also involved in the eliminator stakes for the American.
Mauricio Sulaiman has asked for Luis Ortiz and Whyte to negotiate a second mandatory for the opportunity to then face Wilder or Breazeale.
All in all, the current stance is a maze of problems that will only be put off by Joshua and Wilder agreeing terms.
It’s no secret Wilder will be asking for an immediate rematch clause in the United States to even agree to face Joshua in his homeland, meaning Breazeale is staring at a lengthy wait and why Whyte has been eyeing up alternative routes to a title shot.
As with the situation upon Gennady Golovkin at middleweight, Joshua and Wilder will both need special dispensation to battle each other twice as their respective mandatories could be waiting at least a year.
Some sort of financial incentive or interim stipulation may have to come into play as all sides continue to wade through the red tape which could eventually put an undisputed bout on hold for the time being.
Times have rewound back to the days of the Klitschko brothers holding all the belts, as major players in the top division – who would otherwise have earned a title chance by now, face treading water and fighting each other until their opportunity eventually arises.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay