WBA Sanctions Joshua-Klitschko

The main roadblock holding back the heavyweight super-fight between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko has been cleared. The WBA has sanctioned a 2017 bout between Joshua and Klitschko for the ‘super’ world heavyweight title, ESPN’s Dan Rafael has reported.

Last month the heavyweight title situation became a confused mess, as then-champion Tyson Fury vacated his titles while dealing with drug and mental health issues. A fight between IBF champion Joshua and former champ Klitschko was discussed for December, but Klitschko reportedly wanted the WBA title to be on the line in addition to Joshua’s IBF belt. The holdup started there, and eventually the bout was scrapped, with Klitschko claiming he had an injury and both sides wanting more time to build up the fight.

Joshua (17-0, 17 KOs) will instead face Eric Molina on Dec. 10, and will face Klitschko next provided that he is victorious in his end-of-year title defense.

Klitschko (64-4, 54 KOs) has said he will wait to fight Joshua and wants the bout for early spring of next year. His manager Bernd Boente expressed the team’s relief and gratitude after the WBA sanctioning the bout.

"Hopefully, Anthony Joshua wins his upcoming fight against Molina and then we have a mega event, a promoter’s dream fight coming true in March or April," Boente said. "Two Olympic super heavyweight gold-medal winners fighting each other, the young lion challenging the old lion. This is a fight each boxing fan around the world wants to see."

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