Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder hits new obstacle as WBO announce plan to issue mandatory challenger

AJ was hoping to meet WBC heavyweight champion Wilder next April at Wembley, but should the WBO hand him a mandatory that is unlikely to go ahead.

As talks about a potential fight intensified, the WBO released a statement to Sky Sports.

It read: "With respect to our WBO heavyweight champion Mr Anthony Joshua, be advised that Joshua has 180 days counting from the date of his last compulsory defence (after the Alexander Povetkin bout) to fulfil his mandatory defence obligations.

"Be advised that at this time the WBO has yet to determine if a WBO heavyweight elimination contest will be ordered.

"Further, the involvement of our WBO international heavyweight champion Mr Dillian Whyte in a WBO heavyweight elimination bout is uncertain."


Joshua, who currently holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles, will face his WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin first on September 22 before looking forward to another possible mandatory defence.

Ahead of that fight, Povetkin's promoted Andrey Ryabinsky revealed he is delighted with the Russian's preparations.

Ryabinsky said: "Everything is going by the plan.

"We're looking forward to a great event on September 22."

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