Joshua to a get chance at IBF world title

British-Nigerian boxer Anthony Joshua could have a shot at the vacant IBF heavyweight world title after Tyson Fury’s agreed deal to fight Oleksandr Usyk created an opportunity for the 33-year-old.

Fury and the Ukrainian announced last week they would take eachother on in a battle for the undisputed heavyweight champion, due to be held either on December 23 or in January.

Between them, the pair hold all four of men’s heavyweight world titles with Fury the current WBC champion and Usyk holding WBA, IBF and WBO belts.

However, after ESPN reported there was a two-way rematch clause confirming a second bout between the two, it opens up a possibility for Joshua to fight for the IBF title.

The rematch clause will allow the loser of Fury versus Usyk to force a second fight, but this will not be an undisputed bout.

16-0 Croatian Filip Hrgovic is the current IBF mandatory challenger and is already overdue his shot at the title.

The winner of the first fight between Fury and Usyk has been ordered by the sanctioning body to defend against the dangerous unbeaten Croatian next, with no exceptions.

With the rematch clause meaning the two greats will fight again, Hrgovic will have to fight the next best ranked contender for the IBF world title and currently, this is Joshua who is coming off the back of a brutal knock-out win over Robert Helenius.

At present, Joshua is trying to negotiate a fight with American powerpuncher Deontay Wilder, with promotor Eddie Hearn even hinting this bout could happen on the same night as Fury versus Usyk.

However should this not come through, Joshua could take on Hrgovic for a world title belt.

Hearn, who said the much talked about Joshua-Deontay Wilder fight is much bigger added that the Hrgovic fight comes with a world title.

“You saw yesterday, the IBF, basically saying that, he’s going to fight Filip Hrgovic for the world title,” Hearn told Boxing Social.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out. He is desperate to become a three-time heavyweight champion, and I believe he’s gonna do it. We’ve got the Wilder fight, there’s a lot to think about. But that news certainly changes things.”

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