In a story widely reported by World Boxing News, the Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder undisputed heavyweight bout didn’t happen for one reason.
According to Joshua’s promoter, the WBA ordering a mandatory against Alexander Povetkin scuppered the fight at the eleventh hour.
Firstly, WBN had inside knowledge. Wilder agreed on all terms and was two days away from handing in a signed contract.
Despite this, Joshua vs. Povetkin came out of leftfield. That was the end of months and months of painful negotiations.
Fast forward two and a half years, and it could be about to happen again.
As AJ closes in on a battle with Tyson Fury for all the heavyweight marbles, Mahmoud Charr somehow believes he’s going to be next up.
Charr defends his WBA ‘regular’ championship this weekend against Trevor Bryan. The Lebanese-born German then expects to get his shot at Joshua.
An astonishing turn of events. Given that the WBO has already ordered Oleksandr Usyk, it’s another messy situation for Joshua.
If Fury vs. Joshua falls apart due to mandatories when an undisputed bout overrules all, it will be deja vu for everyone.
As WBN outlined the first time with Joshua vs. Wilder, all the Briton had to do is request an exception to the mandatory for undisputed.
This request has already happened with Usyk. The Ukrainian has been asked to fight Joe Joyce for the interim belt and then face the Fury vs. Joshua winner.
But as Fury-AJ is a two-fight saga, Usyk and only the ex-cruiserweight king can be guaranteed his opportunity.
Charr comes nowhere in that equation. Unless he has assurances from the WBA.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Charr is sure he can jump the queue.
“This is the mandatory fight for Joshua,” said Charr to Sky. “I hope the fight will happen. I’m the first heavyweight champion from the Middle East.
“I know when I beat Trevor Bryan (Joshua’s promoter), Eddie Hearn can make the fight in Qatar or Saudi Arabia because I’m the first Arabic heavyweight from this area.
“That will be a big, big show for everyone in the world,” he added.
This development is all UK fans need in their pursuit of finally seeing Fury and Joshua trade blows this year.
Furthermore, if we are to see the biggest British heavyweight fight for some time, Charr will have to get back in line.