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Hearn: Why wouldn’t WBA sanction Joshua-Klitschko?

Anthony Joshua Wladimir Klitschko

By Scott Gilfoid: The World Boxing Association is expected to make their decision today whether to sanction the December 10 fight between IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is bellyaching something fierce about the rumors of the 40-year-old Wladimir facing Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne on December 10 in Hamburg, Germany.

Hearn has been talking about Wladimir taking on a “soft touch” instead of facing the 27-year-old Joshua. However, Wladimir appears to be making sure that he has a good Plan-B opponent in case the WBA chooses not to sanction the fight, which is clearly a very smart thing for the talented Ukrainian to do.

If Wladimir were to sit on his backside doing nothing, he’d be left with little choice but to fight a scrub on December 10 if the WBA ruled against the Joshua vs. Klitschko fight.

“It’s the biggest fight in the heavyweight division right now,” said Hearn to skysports.com about the Joshua-Klitschko fight. “Why would you not sanction it? Maybe they are being driven by Wladimir Klitschko in terms of who he wants to fight.”

See what I mean about Hearn’s bellyaching? The man just needs to let the WBA doing their job, and respect the process. If the WBA chooses not to sanction the Joshua vs. Klitschko fight, then they’ve got their reasons. They’re voting as a committee on this. It’s not just coming from one man in the WBA organization that is calling the shots.

I could totally understand why the WBA would want to go in another direction by not sanctioning the fight. Why should they? The last time I checked Joshua is the IBF champion and not even ranked in the top 15 by the WBA. It’s better for the WBA to have only WBA contenders fight for their belt in my view. Joshua has his own title with the International Boxing Federation. Why would the IBF want to throw Joshua a bone?

Hearn just needs to take the pain when/if the time comes and the WBA rules against them. It’s no big deal. Hearn can always match Joshua up against David Price, Dillian Whyte or Dereck Chisora on December 10. I’m just saying. It’s not like it’s the end of the world if Joshua and Hearn don’t the Klitschko fight in 2016.

If they don’t get the fight this year, then you can bet that it’ll happen in 2017, as long as Wladimir wins his next fight against Lucas Browne or whoever he faces next. Of course, the venue would likely need to change for the Klitschko vs. Joshua fight in 2017.

Hearn and Joshua wouldn’t be able to push the fight to take place in the UK once Wladimir has the WBA title in his possession. We’re probably talking about the fight needing to take place in a neutral venue like the United States at the very least. You can argue that Germany is a neutral venue, because Wladimir doesn’t live there any longer. I believe he’s living in sunny Florida in the U.S.

“Lots of rumors that he’s now going to fight Lucas Browne in Germany on December 10, which would be a huge letdown for broadcasters and fans,” said Hearn. “We are awaiting on the WBA decision in terms of if they will sanction the fight between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko, which just doesn’t sound right to me.”

I don’t see what the problem is for Hearn. Wladimir vs. Browne is a swell fight, I can see it selling out a stadium in Hamburg, Germany. If the fight does well, then that’s all that matters. It wouldn’t be a huge letdown for the boxing fans if he faces Browne instead of Joshua, because that’s not a huge fight yet. Joshua still needs to build up his name before the Wladimir vs. Joshua fight can be a huge one.

Here are the fighters that Joshua needs to beat before a fight between him and Wladimir becomes a huge affair:

– Luis Ortiz

– David Haye

– Deontay Wilder

– Joseph Parker

If Joshua can beat all four of those heavyweights to catch up to Klitschko somewhat in terms of popularity, then I think it’s time for the fight to take place, but not before that. Right now, Joshua doesn’t have the experience at the pro level to be fighting Wladimir in a mega-fight. Look at Joshua’s three biggest fights: Dillian Whyte, Charles Martin and Dominic Breazeale. I hate to say it, but that is woeful opposition. Whyte is a fringe contender, and you can argue that Martinez and Breazeale are in the same boat. Breazeale was picked from the No.13 spot by Joshua and Hearn in their last fight instead of the No.1 spot. Martin was considered a paper champion in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans at the time that Joshua fought him. He wasn’t considered to be a top champion. He was just a fighter that won the IBF belt when his opponent Vyachaslav Glazkov suffered a knee injury. Joshua needs to get more experience under his belt before a fight between him and Klitschko can be fully developed and ready for the boxing public.

Once Wladimir has the WBA title in his possession, he can negotiate on an even playing field for a fight against Joshua. Right now, it’s too slanted in Joshua’s favor, because he’s the IBF champion and Wladimir just the challenger. I can understand why Wladimir wouldn’t take the fight with Joshua right now, because he needs his belt. You can’t give Joshua ALL the advantages, can you?. He’s got the hometown advantage with the fight taking place in the UK, and he’s already the younger fighter. Why would Wladimir want to give Joshua the advantage when it comes to negotiating power? It’s a much better deal for Wladimir to win the WBA belt off of Lucas Browne, let Joshua get some REAL experience in the meant time, and then negotiate the fight under better terms in 2017 or perhaps 2018 once things are looking a little better.

Hearn and Joshua need to hold onto their horses and not get so impatient when it comes to the Klitschko fight. It’ll happen, believe me, but these things take time. You can’t rush a talent like Wladimir into a fight before all the ducks in a row.


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