• Monday, April 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Anthony Joshua’s three-time world heavyweight title hopes suffer setback

Anthony Joshua (2)

Anthony Joshua‘s plans to become a three-time world heavyweight champion have suffered a setback, according to Talk Sport.

The two-time former unified world heavyweight champion is in a prime position to fight for the IBF title, crucial for his ambition as it would make him a mandatory challenger for the winner of the Fury vs. Usyk fight, should it become vacant after their May 18th clash.

But multiple reports claim Joshua would face IBF mandatory Filip Hrgovic for the soon-to-be-vacated title in his next outing in either June or July. However, Hrgovic’s coach, Ronnie Shields, insists a bout between his fighter and Daniel Dubois is in the works for June 1 in Saudi Arabia.

The IBF has already confirmed stripping the winner if they pursue a rematch and instead ordering a fight for the vacant belt between Hrgovic and the next highest-ranked boxer, currently Joshua at No.3.

Although Shields did not confirm whether Hrgovic vs. Dubois would be for the IBF belt, it’s feasible as Dubois is ranked at No.4. The IBF may elevate Dubois to the vacant No.2 spot and order a world title fight between him and Hrgovic.

This fight, if signed, will likely take place on the undercard of Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev’s undisputed light-heavyweight showdown, expected for June 1st in Saudi Arabia. Dubois has been campaigning for this fight, calling out Hrgovic on social media last month, declaring himself “the daddy” and expressing his readiness for a fight.

With the Hrgovic vs. Dubois fight likely, Joshua may need to explore alternative opponents for his June or July bout.