Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has put in an ‘exception request’ to the IBF to allow Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua to side step mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev in order to face Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch.
IBF president Daryl Peoples spoke to worldboxingnews.net in regards to the request.
“Last Thursday [May 11th], the IBF received an exception request from Matchroom on behalf of Anthony Joshua. I’m expecting a reply from Sauerland on behalf of Pulev either today or early tomorrow.
“The Board will consider the exception request during the convention next week and determine what actions the IBF will take as soon as a decision has been made.”
The IBF are able to grant Joshua an ‘exception request’, which would let him keep his belt while not facing Bulgarian Pulev next.
There will no doubt be some controversy if Joshua is given the exception as former heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, was stripped of his belts for not defending against then-mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov.
Sauerland Promotions have a good relationship with Matchroom Boxing and it is likely that Pulev will step aside and could feature on the undercard for Joshua vs Klitschko Part 2.
Tyson Fury will not be happy if this occurs as Pulev would be next in line for a title fight and Fury could have to wait longer than the projected April 2018 date.
If the IBF allow Joshua to face Klitschko, the clash could happen before the end of the year and the fight could be worth more than the Wembley Stadium showdown.