Anthony Joshua could get a title stripped from him even if he beats Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley it has been revealed.
Joshua squares off with Klitschko next week. It’s expected to be by far the biggest fight in world boxing of the year. Heavyweight boxing fever is in the air without doubt.
However a tricky mandatory situation looks like it could arise for Joshua. It would come about if he were to capture more heavyweight belts next week.
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When a world champion wins one of the main world title belts he is usually obligated to make a mandatory defence. This defence of the belt comes against a contender ranked in whatever governing body he won the title from.
Things that can take precedence of this could be if the mandatory challenger was paid money to step aside temporarily. Or, for example, if the champion was involved in a unification fight with another would title holder.
It can get a little complicated.
Essentially, if Joshua wins next week he’ll hold quite a few heavyweight titles which brings multiple mandatory challenger obligations with it.
It can be very hard to actually win and hold onto all the belts these days because of that. Speaking to The Independent Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn noted today:
“The same thing which happened to Tyson Fury could happen to AJ. His mandatory was due, he wouldn’t fight his mandatory and he lost the belt.”
Obviously having all of the major word titles is still a big achievement. But it’s one that is becoming increasingly less possible.
Possibly less important in the modern boxing era too.
A time where entertainment and fights that fans genuinely want to see is the new law of the land. The big fights are more important than mandatory obligations in the fans’ eyes.
Of course if there was just one world title belt per weight class that would solve the problem. That’s not going to happen anytime soon though.