By Ryan Burton
It was announced this morning that long reigning unified champion and long recognized #1 heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko would not invoke his rematch clause against WBA/IBF/IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
On April 29th before a crowd of 90,000 fans at Wembley in London, Joshua climbed up off the canvas in the sixth to stop Klitschko in the 11th round of the most exciting heavyweight fight in several years.
The 41-year-old Klitschko had a rematch clause and the plan was to stage the rematch at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on November 11th. The fight likely would have been broadcast via pay-per-view in the United States.
With Klitschko out of the picture, Joshua's next move is clouded by two mandatories that are due. Kubrat Pulev (25-1) is his IBF mandatory and Luis "King Kong" Oritz (27-0) is his overdue mandatory with the WBA.
Ortiz's manager says that their mandatory precedes Pulev's and that Joshua must face him next. He said they have zero qualms with stepping in on November 11th and facing Joshua on the date and at the venue that was already penciled in for the Klitschko fight.
"Like (Conor) McGregor said to Floyd (Mayeather), you are so fooked. Now you can get knocked out on U.S. soil by King Kong. We are next. We have no problem fighting on that date of November 11th in Las Vegas. Our mandatory takes precedent over Pulev's and they know that," Jimenez told BoxingScene.com.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out with several reports circulating that Joshua will face Pulev either in Cardiff, Wales or at the T-Mobile Arena on October 28th or on November 11th. Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn wants to position the champion so that he is able to fight three times in 2018.
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