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Anthony Joshua ready to drop IBF title for Wladimir Klitschko rematch, echoing Tyson Fury’s fate

Anthony Joshua could be stripped of one of his newly-won belts before his next fight because of a rematch clause with Wladimir Klitschko, but the world champion didn’t seem to concerned as he strolled around north west London on Thursday.

Anthony Joshua newly-won belts

Joshua was pictured exiting a coffee shop on Finchley Road, not far from his mother’s house, clutching a hot drink and looking relaxed.

But his good mood could be tempered by Eddie Hearn’s admission that he might have to give up his IBF belt.

 

Joshua added IBO and WBA Super World Heavyweight belts to the IBF belt that he already held by knocking out the Ukrainian last week.

But now he could have to give up the IBF title, just as Tyson Fury did after defeating Klitschko, because the federation has a mandatory challenger who he must fight next.

 

Fury was also stripped of the IBF belt, because he, like Joshua, had agreed to a rematch with Klitschko.

And Joshua would be happy to do the same, with a rematch prioritised over a bout with mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev, according to promoter, and Sportsmail columnist, Hearn.

 

‘We don’t want to drop the IBF belt but if we have to we’ll have no problem doing exactly that.

‘We won’t let boxing politics get in the way of AJ’s progression. Ideally, we want all the belts but when you get close, it becomes difficult because of situations like this.

‘This is not going away, the IBF always follow their rules just as they did with Fury.

‘We could look to do a deal with Pulev and try to make an interim bout for the belt — with the winner of that to face AJ.’

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