Anthony Joshua is prepared to sacrifice his IBF world title in favour of a more lucrative bout than Kubrat Pulev.
It has been known for a while that the winner of the Joshua v Kiltschko fight would be put in this precarious position, because the 36-year-old Bulgarian (Pulev) is the mandatory challenger for the IBF title.
Anthony Joshua‘s promoter Eddie Hearn is keen to put AJ’s progression before the ‘boxing politics’ surrounding different federation titles.
Germany-based promoters Kalle and Nisse Sauerland previously confirmed that the Bulgarian fighter must face the winner of the Joshua-Klitschko bout…
CONFIRMED: winner of #JoshuaKlitschko must face IBF Mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev in the next fight (no fights in between permitted)👌💥👍
— Kalle+NisseSauerland (@SauerlandBros) December 22, 2016
Eddie Hearn told the Sun:
We don’t want to drop the IBF belt but if we have to we’ll have no problem doing exactly that.
We won’t let boxing politics get in the way of AJ’s progression. Ideally, we want all the belts but when you get close, it becomes difficult because of situations like this.
We could look to do a deal with Pulev and try to make an interim bout for the belt — with the winner of that to face AJ.
It is likely that Joshua would opt for a fight with Tyson Fury (if he gets his license back), or more likely Deontay Wilder or a Klitschko rematch, which would bring in a lot more money.
Joshua is yet to pick his next opponent, but everyone in the boxing world is lining up to fight him.
If a deal cannot be reached with Pulev ($$$), then Joshua could lose his IBF belt for his choice for his next competitor.
Maybe there should be just one world title to get rid of all this confusion? Just an idea…