Anthony Joshua is set to face a massive backlog of fights if the Briton grabs a victory over Jarrell Miller on June 1 in New York.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has moved to point out the fact to WBC champion Deontay Wilder that Joshua will be tied up if they don’t meet soon.
Speaking in his usual online forum to YouTuber’s IFL TV, Hearn stated that mandatories would hamper the ability to keep the heavyweight super-fight undisputed.
“We don’t want to vacate one of the titles because we want the undisputed fight,’ Hearn told the subscriber channel.
“I mean, don’t get me wrong, if a title was vacated, we’d still fight Wilder. But (that way) it wouldn’t be the undisputed fight. That’s the golden chalice. So that’s why we want it to happen in November or December.”
Explaining further, Hearn said Joshua will be ordered to fight different opponents in the near future.
“The WBO with (Oleksandr) Usyk, IBF with (Kubrat) Pulev is after the WBO mandatory. And then there would be a WBA mandatory, which is not set yet. So he is going to have a logjam of mandatories.
“So after Miller, he’s either going to fight Wilder or another fight or – more likely, Usyk.
“AJ’s fight with Wilder may not be a unification bout if it doesn’t happen this year. If he fights the undisputed fight then he’s got to fight Usyk after. Then he’s got to fight Pulev as another mandatory after that. And then he’s got to fight the WBA one.
“So that’s when you get into the realms of, are we vacating a belt here? (Wladimir) Klitschko never vacated a belt, but he got criticised because of the mandatories that were put in front of him.”
What the Matchroom boss has failed to divulge is that the majority of organizations will allow Joshua to fight an undisputed fight if they request an exception.
It’s 99.9% certain the IBF, WBO and WBA would follow the same path as the WBC. President Mauricio Sulaiman has always stated any undisputed battle at any weight overrules a mandatory.
This means Joshua can fight Wilder at any time without vacating a title.
Recently, when Wilder agreed terms, Joshua walked away to follow a WBA order. It was later revealed that the WBA would have granted an exemption to AJ if he wanted the Wilder fight.
All in all, it’s not likely Joshua will lose a belt at all, provided he only wants to avoid his stipulated challenger for Wilder.
The only body to usually play hardball is the IBF. But for the biggest fight in recent top division history, it’s more than possible common sense would prevail.