Wladimir Klitschko's rematch against Tyson Fury was going to be the biggest heavyweight fight in years. But now that fight is canceled and Klitschko will have to settle for the next best thing: a fight with IBF Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua.
Promoter Eddie Hearn said that the terms have been agreed upon and that now it is a matter of putting pen into paper and making the fight official.
“I would say the terms are agreed for Joshua-Klitschko but there are things that have got to fall into place to make sure that it gets signed. It’s not signed,” Hearn said.
Details that need to be sorted out include whether or not there will be additional titles on the line. While neither fighter holds more than the IBF title that Joshua has, Tyson Fury's medical and drug problems forced his rematch against Klitschko to be canceled as well as having his titles be stripped away from their respective organizations. Hearn said that the now-vacant WBA title might be on the line for this fight.
“We had a simple plan, probably IBF and WBA," Hearn said. "Then he [Tyson Fury] vacated all the belts and you’ve got WBO, IBO. Other organizations have come on and said can we do Joshua-Klitschko as well. I just want to make sure when we do the announcement we know exactly what belts are on the line, they’ve been legally sanctioned and we can actually do a poster that exists. I’m just making sure we’re meticulous in that and [when they say] contracts are signed, broadcast deals are done, belts on the line are X rather than just jumping on it.”
Another sticking point is the television aspect of this fight. Joshua is under contract with Showtime and Klitschko is under contract with HBO, but Hearn said that TV issues are sorted out.
The fight is expected to be contested in December in Manchester, England.