Decision on Klitschko-Joshua Coming Monday
A decision from the WBA regarding a possible bout for the vacant heavyweight title between Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua could come by Monday.
Negotiations between the two parties were reported to have fallen through earlier this week, and it was reported Klitschko would pursue a bout with Lucas Browne for the vacant title instead. Last weekend, it appeared that the two were set for a Dec. 10 bout, but the fight needed the WBA’s blessing, as Klitschko wanted the bout to have the title — vacated by Tyson Fury a couple of weeks ago — on the line.
Browne previously won the secondary WBA title in March with a 10th round TKO victory over Ruslan Chagaev, but was stripped of the title after failing a drug test. BoxRec also reported the fight between Klitschko and Browne would have the IBO heavyweight title on the line as well.
WBA president Gilberto Mendoza Jr. told ESPN on Thursday night that an announcement was to be made Friday afternoon regarding whether it will sanction Klitschko vs. Joshua or mandate Klitschko vs. Browne. The WBA was supposed to make an announcement earlier that day. But the announcement never came because, Mendoza said, there were "too many legal matters to consider" as it relates to "the settlement agreement with Lucas Browne," who was stripped of the secondary title and suspension earlier in the year.
A report from Boxing Scene on Friday night also stated Browne was unhappy with the $1 million Klitschko and his representatives offered for a WBA title bout in Germany, and Klitschko reportedly wanted to fight Browne for the vacant WBA title before a bout with Joshua in Spring or Summer 2017.
On Saturday night, World Boxing News added that Eric Molina was a preferred replacement, instead of David Price, for Joshua if the fight with Klitschko were to not happen.
"[Promoter] Eddie [Hearn] said he needed to finalize Joshua before he worried about other fights," Molina said. "I haven’t heard much of Joshua vs Klitschko being finalized yet either, but it’s strange. I think David Price is going to be in the hot seat if Klitschko does fight A.J. Price said he would fight me and Eddie had already started making the fight, but I haven’t heard a peep about anything from Eddie as of Tuesday when Klitschko vs. Joshua hit the fan."
Fight Sports will update this story as it develops.