Joshua, Klitschko title fight in jeopardy

Anthony Joshua’s prospective world heavyweight title fight with Wladimir Klitschko remains up in the air as both camps wait to discover which belts will be contested.

Klitschko, who has agreed in principle to face Joshua on 10 December at the Manchester Arena, is keen to reclaim the WBA title he lost to Tyson Fury last November. However, despite Fury vacating the belt last week, the sanctioning body are yet to confirm whether they will recognise the fight.

Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, told Sky Sports: “The deal is there but we are awaiting sanctioning from the WBA. 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.”

Klitschko is believed to be considering a match-up with Lucas Browne, who was stripped of the WBA’s ‘regular’ belt after failing a drugs test. Browne became the first Australian to win a world heavyweight title after his surprise stoppage of Ruslan Chagaev in March.

The 37-year-old was subsequently stripped by the WBA and suspended for six months, but following appeals from his camp, the sanctioning body promised Browne a place in the top five of their heavyweight rankings once his suspension had ended.

Joshua, the IBF champion, is expected to fight on 10 December against another opponent should Klitschko’s camp pull out.

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