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 belt holders, meaning the fighters in line will be on red alert.
Joshua holds the WBA, WBO, IBF, and IBO versions. At the same time, Wilder has the coveted WBC belt. But 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.
The IBF has given ‘AJ’ a reprieve by ordering a final eliminator between formerly scheduled opponents Kubrat Pulev and former foe Dillian Whyte.
It gets even more complicated as Wilder has Dominic Breazeale awaiting his summer shot. 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 face Wilder or Breazeale then.
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. He’ll be looking to fight in the United States after facing Joshua in his homeland.
The situation means Breazeale is staring at a lengthy wait. And why Whyte has been eyeing up alternative routes to a title shot.
As with Gennady Golovkin at middleweight, Joshua and Wilder will need special dispensation to battle each other twice. Their respective mandatories could then be waiting at least a year.
Some financial incentives or interim stipulations may have to come into play as all sides continue to wade through the red tape. It could eventually put an undisputed bout on hold for the time being.
Times have rewound to the days of the Klitschko brothers holding all the belts. Major players in the top division – who would otherwise have earned a title chance by now, face treading water and fighting each other.
That is until their opportunity eventually arises.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay