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Boxing

WBO Order Anthony Joshua To Defend World Titles Against Mandatory Challenger

Nasir Jabbar

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WBO Order Anthony Joshua To Defend World Titles Against Mandatory Challenger

Anthony Joshua has already been given a mandatory defence of his heavyweight world titles after winning the belts back from Andy Ruiz Jr.

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And the WBO has stated that Joshua will be ordered to defend his titles against No.1 challenger Oleksandr Usyk next.

The fight with Usyk must happen within 180 days (before June 4). If Joshua does not agree to face the Ukrainian, then he will be forced to vacate his WBO belt.

Usyk made his heavyweight debut back in October as he defeated Chazz Witherspoon to become mandatory challenger.

The 32-year-old cleaned up the cruiserweight division as he became undisputed champion. He knocked out Tony Bellew in his last cruiserweight bout before moving up in weight.

Image: PA
Image: PA
Image: PA
Image: PA

Kubrat Pulev is also waiting in the wings. The Bulgarian fighter is the IBF mandatory challenger and that could be ordered by the governing body, too.

Joshua could be forced to vacate one of his world titles with mandatory challengers piling up.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn, meanwhile, spoke about his future plans after the fight.

"Future plans are to celebrate and to celebrate hard," he said. "This man has responsible for the growth of British boxing. He won the title after 16 fights and he unified the belts after 19.

"They wrote him off, he was humiliated in Madison Square Garden, they said he was all hype. But he has come back.

"We got criticised for coming here, the reception we got from the people and the vision they have for boxing here is incredible.

"We are not going to talk about other fighters, he is the king."

Who do you want to see Joshua face next? Let us know.

Topics: Boxing News, Andy Ruiz Jr, Anthony Joshua, Boxing, Fight News

Nasir Jabbar
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