Joshua vs. Klitschko Deal on Hold
The heavyweight super-fight between Wladimir Klitschko and IBF champion Anthony Joshua was reported to be done this week, but there is now a hold-up. Klitschko allegedly wants the vacant WBA title to also be on the line, and may not accept the fight otherwise.
According to Sky Sports, both Klitschko and Joshua have agreed to the fight, which should take place on Dec. 10 at the Manchester Arena. Promoter Eddie Hearn says that both sides have contacted the WBA about sanctioning the fight, as Klitschko wants to win back the now-vacant WBA belt that he lost to Tyson Fury last November.
"The deal is there but we are awaiting sanctioning from the WBA," Hearn said. "Both teams have written to the WBA to request sanctioning of our fight, but Wladimir wants the WBA belt to be on the line so until that is approved we cannot move forward.
"We expect news in the next few days, but in the meantime I believe both sides will look at alternative options for December 10 while we hope to get the news we need to make the fight happen."
Tyson Fury beat Klitschko last December, and the two were scheduled to rematch this year. After Fury’s battles with mental health issues and his failing of a drug test for cocaine, he was stripped of his WBA and WBO titles.
If the WBA sanctions the bout between Joshua and Klitschko as a title fight, then the deal is expected to forward as planned. It is a slight cause for concern, however, that both sides appear to be discussing potential alternative opponents. A fight between Joshua and Klitschko is as exciting of a fight to make in the heavyweight division, and boxing fans would be predictably disappointed if the fight were to fall through.