Eddie Hearn Says Anthony Joshua Would Appeal Mandatory WBO Status
Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn has detailed Anthony Joshua’s plan if he gets past Kubrat Pulev.
Joshua is scheduled to defend his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight Titles against Pulev on December 12. The action is set to take place inside the O2 Arena in London, England. If “AJ” defeats Pulev, he’s hoping to move on to a showdown with WBC Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury.
There is a potential holdup with that plan. The mandatory challenger for the WBO Heavyweight Championship is Oleksandr Usyk. If Usyk gets past Derek Chisora, the WBO plans to enforce a mandatory title fight against Joshua.
During an interview with Sky Sports, Hearn detailed how Joshua plans to approach that situation if all goes according to plan.
“If Usyk wins, and Joshua beats Pulev, the ruling states that Joshua should fight Usyk next. But if Joshua wins he will apply to the WBO and say: ‘I would like to fight Fury for the undisputed title.’ The WBO can say yes or no. If they say no, we go to Usyk and ask: ‘Will you let us [fight Fury] maybe in April.’ I really want AJ vs Fury to be for the undisputed title. The belts are important to Joshua. He hasn’t accumulated these belts and paid the sanctioning fees just to throw them away. He wants to be undisputed. But we also respect Usyk as mandatory challenger. AJ would like to fight Usyk as well. He thinks it’s an amazing challenge. He thinks Usyk is a great fighter.”
Fury plans to compete on December 5 in London. An opponent hasn’t been determined but the frontrunners are Agit Kabayel and Carlos Takam.