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Hearn says Joshua-Klitschko not done yet


By Scott Gilfoid: There’s been a great deal of discussion in the boxing world about a fight between IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko for November 26, but unfortunately that fight is far from being made. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says the Joshua vs. Klitschko fight isn’t done yet.

It still remains to be seen who the 26-year-old Joshua will be fighting on that date at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK. Wladimir’s manager Bernd Boente says they’re waiting to hear from the World Boxing Organization about whether they’ll be stripping Tyson Fury of his WBO or WBA heavyweight titles following his recent pull out of his scheduled October 29 rematch against the 40-year-old Wladimir.

If Wladimir fights Joshua, he’ll likely want one or more of Fury’s titles on the line for the fight. Wladimir wants to recapture his old titles that he lost in his fight against Fury last November in getting beaten by a 12 round unanimous decision in Dusseldorf, Germany. Frankly, I don’t know why it matters to Wladimir if he has more than one belt up for grabs for the Joshua fight. It seems to me that it should be enough for Wladimir to have the International Boxing Federation strap available to him. It’s not as if it really matters if the WBA and/or the WBO title are on the line too. If Wladimir can’t beat Joshua, then it’s meaningless to have more than one title up for grabs.

“I’ve seen a lot of stuff talking about AJ and Klitschko saying that it’s done. It’s definitely not done,” said Hearn via “We are in talks with Team Klitschko and his manager Bernd Boente. I’m hopeful that the fight can be made if everything works out. Joseph Parker, of course, our mandatory, fights live on Sky Sports on Saturday against Alexander Dimitrenko. That’s on the Nathan Cleverly v Juergen Braehmer broadcast.”

It’s quite likely that Joshua will wind up fighting Joseph Parker next on November 26 rather than the 6’6” Klitschko. The reason for that is because it’s going to take the WBA and WBO too long to strip Fury of his titles. At some point, I see the sanctioning bodies stripping the 28-year-old Fury if they’re not given a definite date for him to return to the ring to continue his boxing career to resume defending their heavyweight titles.

If all Fury can tell them is he’ll eventually be back inside the ring one of these days, I don’t think they’re going to be pleased with that news. Fury will probably need to give the WBA/WBO a definite date for him to be back. If he can’t do that, then I see them stripping him of his straps, and then letting Wladimir fight over them against whoever.

“On AJ, we’re working hard and we hope to have some news soon. I’ll update you when I can,” said Hearn about Joshua.

As bad as Wladimir has looked in his last two fights, I honestly don’t know why he even wants to bother fighting for his old belts. I mean, I can’t see Wladimir beating Joshua or any decent heavyweight in the division. Even someone like Kubrat Pulev would be trouble for Wladimir right now in my view.

I think Wladimir lost something from his game since his knockout win over Pulev in 2014. I guess Wladimir is going to have to find out for himself that it’s over with. I suspect that one Wladimir gets beaten soundly by someone like Joshua, he’ll end his boxing career and go off into retirement and not come back. The fact that a BADLY flawed fighter like Fury was able to beat Wladimir kind of shows you how bad off he is at this point in his long boxing career.

Hearn is expected to announce the name of Joshua’s November 26 opponent next week. The names that Hearn is picking from are from this punch: Joseph Parker, Hughie Fury, and Kubrat Pulev. Parker would seem to be the most likely one of those three, as Hearn said that Hughie’s people want a lot of money for the fight. He doesn’t see that as a fight that can happen with them so far apart in terms of money. Pulev seems to have been ruled out a long time ago, so that’s not a fight that is going to take place.

Parker, 24, needs to win his fight this Saturday against the 6’7” Alexander Dimitrenko for him to be available to fight Joshua on November 26. Parker not only needs to beat the 34-year-old Dimitrenko, but he also needs to get through the fight without suffering any cuts or other types of injuries. If Parker gets hurt, then he won’t be able to fight on November 26 against Joshua. That would ruin Hearn’s big plans. I don’t think the news would be a big deal to the British boxing fans though, because Joshua-Parker isn’t a big fight.

It’s a decent fight, but not a big one like Joshua-Klitschko, Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder, or Joshua vs. David Haye. Parker is still too inexperienced to interest a lot of fans. To be sure, Parker is a very, very good fighter with amazing boxing skills, size, power and youth going for him, but I don’t think the casual fans are aware of him yet. It’ll take Parker beating Joshua for him to get recognized by fans. If Parker can take Joshua’s scalp in November or in early 2017, then he’ll be a big name in the sport, and this would lead to a big money rematch between Parker and Joshua that would create a huge amount of interest from boxing fans.

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