The politics in boxing often confuses fans who can’t understand the mysterious ways in which the governing bodies work. The way in which they enforce their mandatory challengers and their extremely questionable ranking systems which half the time we cannot fathom how some fighters get where they get too.
But once again the IBF (boxing’s strictest and most controversial governing body) have re-jiggled their top 10 and have stuck David Haye behind Kubrat Pulev, making him the second in line for Joshua’s IBF title.
Despite there being a unification with Wladimir Klitschko in the way, Kubrat Pulev being the mandatory for the IBF and Luis Ortiz being the mandatory for the WBA, David Haye is still extremely close.
If Joshua comes out successful against Klitschko in April he will then have to face one of two mandatory challengers, Kubrat Pulev or Luis Ortiz. Before facing Eric Molina in December, Pulev was offered the chance to face the IBF champion and receive his biggest payday yet, a challenger which he declined.
Pulev’s only career loss has been getting knocked out by Wladimir Klitschko and I can’t understand why Pulev would then accept to fight a man who had beaten Klitschko if Joshua comes out on top. It doesn’t make sense for Pulev to duck a fight against Joshua whilst he’s still progressing and then take it when he’s fully matured as a professional champion.
So with Pulev being ranked number 2 in the IBF, Wladimir Klitschko being ranked number 3, if Joshua beats Klitschko he wont be facing him again. This will theoretically leave two challengers, Pulev & Haye.
On the other side of the coin we have undefeated Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz who will be the mandatory challenger for the WBA. Both governing bodies have openly come out and said both mandatory’s will be ordered without any fights in between being permitted, meaning Joshua will likely be stripped of one belt if he wins.
Luis Ortiz’s last two fights have been extremely disappointing however you can’t forget the performances he’s had prior to those, looking extremely dangerous and destructive , knocking over anyone that stood in his way. Ortiz will be considered an extremely high risk, with a very low reward for Eddie Hearn and Anthony Joshua.
Since joining Matchroom boxing, people have often said it would be easier for Hearn to make an in-stable fight , enforcing much easier negotiations between Joshua and Ortiz. I personally think that Hearn’s intentions of luring Ortiz over to the UK was to be able to control his career and steer him away from Joshua.
Their has been rumors of a £15 million purse each for both Joshua & Klitschko and we all know how much Hearn loves a pound note. I find it extremely hard to believe they would risk it all against Luis Ortiz for a much lesser payday if they have had their hands around the kind of money they will get for the Klitschko fight, and Haye is certainly the next monster payday available.
Whilst writing this article it seems I have been enticed at the forgone conclusion that Anthony Joshua is going to stand strong infront of 90,000 fans and fold the Ukrainian legend like a deckchair. However I am on the side that beleives Wladimir is the man to dethrone Joshua and bring him back down to reality.
Take away the power from both men and Klitschko out does him in every single department. FACT in my opinion. Speed, the fitness, the timing, the fitness, and the jab. In my eyes the only thing Joshua has on Wlad is power and even then, is Joshua knocking out 18 bums a reliable enough argument when Wlad has knocked out 53 of his 68 opponents .