By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
ANTHONY JOSHUA could knock out Wladimir Klitschko next week and still end up losing his IBF heavyweight crown.
The London 2012 Olympic gold medallist takes on Klitschko at Wembley Stadium on April 29.
He will defend his IBF belt for the third time while the vacant WBA/IBO straps will also be on the line.
But promoter Eddie Hearn is facing a headache over keeping the IBF belt should his man win.
The IBF will force the winner of Joshua v Klitschko to face Kubrat Pulev while the WBA will make him take on their No 1 challenger Luis Ortiz.
Joshua’s rival Tyson Fury was forced to give up the IBF belt after he beat Klitschko in November 2015.
And Hearn said: “Quite possibly he will have to vacate one of them unless a deal can be done.
“I’m not really concerned about belts. I’d love him to have all the belts but as Tyson Fury found out, that’s not really possible.
“The same thing which could happen to AJ happened to Tyson Fury. His mandatory was due, he wouldn’t fight his mandatory and he lost the belt.
“It would be the same for Anthony Joshua and there would be no exceptions to the rule.
“If that is the case, we’ll have to make the best decision for his future.”
A big unification clash with WBC champion Deontay Wilder, who will be ringside at Wembley working for American TV, would not even allow Joshua to hold the two belts.
Hearn added: “He has to fight Pulev next. This is the unification, which has avoided the Pulev fight for now.”
Commonwealth Games middleweight gold medallist Anthony Fowler has signed a promotional deal with Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and will make his professional debut next month.