Former division ruler Wladimir Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs) has been rewarded in defeat, as the World Boxing Council has appointed him as the #2 ranked challenger to current world champion Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs).
As of last month, Klitschko was not ranked in the top 15 under the WBC. He did hold a number 2 ranking under the WBA and a number 3 ranking under the IBF.
Last month before a record crowd of 90,000 at Wembley, Klitschko returned for the first time since losing his heavyweights titles to Tyson Fury in November 2015 in Germany.
Klitschko fought Anthony Joshua with the IBF, WBA, IBO world titles at stake. He survived a knockdown in the fifth to drop Joshua in the sixth, but the Olympic gold medal winner dropped Klitschko twice in the eleventh to secure the stoppage win.
There is an immediate rematch clause, which Klitschko will make a decision on in the coming weeks. His decision is expected to come down by early June. He could very well retire or decide to go in another direction.
The man holding the WBC's top spot in the ranking, Bermane Stiverne, is the mandatory challenger to Wilder's title.
Wilder has already been ordered to defend his title against Stiverne. The fight will be a rematch of their January 2015 encounter, which saw Wilder dominate his way to a twelve round unanimous decision to capture the WBC belt from Stiverne.
Sitting at #3 under the WBC is Cuba's Luis Ortiz, who is already the WBA's mandatory challenger to Joshua, and the hard puncher is already pushing the issue under legal threat to get the British champion in the ring. Ortiz will likely have to wait, because even if Klitschko decides to take a pass on the rematch, then Joshua's handlers have already made it clear that IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev would be next.