Wladimir Klitschko determined to fight for the WBA heavyweight title
By Mark Crellin
Last Updated: 18/10/16 9:52pm
Wladimir Klitschko's manager Bernd Boente says the former world heavyweight champion's next opponent hinges on which fight can be sanctioned by the WBA.
A bout between Klitschko and IBF champion Anthony Joshua could be on the agenda for December but Boente says it will be delayed until next year if the WBA wants Klitschko to fight a different opponent first.
The WBA and WBO heavyweight titles are currently up for grabs, after Tyson Fury vacated them so he can concentrate on dealing with his mental health issues.
Joshua and Klitschko have agreed to a fight at the Manchester Arena on December 10 but the Ukrainian is keen to reclaim his old WBA title, which he lost to Fury on points, and both fighters have asked the organisation to sanction the Manchester event.
Were the WBA to decline, Joshua and Klitschko would be likely to have separate fights on December 10, before potentially squaring off in a unification bout next year.
Boente told BoxingScene.com: "For Wladimir, it is absolutely most important that the WBA will sanction his next fight, regardless of his next opponent.
"Wladimir has always been a very loyal and committed WBA champion and the WBA has always been a very important belt.
"So, now we have to see what the WBA rules as the next step, and hopefully quickly because Wladimir wants to fight this year.
"For Wladimir it is very important that the WBA belt be on the line in his next fight and I think it shows that for Wladimir, his intentions are not just to cash in.
"If this fight with Anthony Joshua will not happen this year, then this fight could happen next summer, for example, in a stadium in Germany or England."
Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn earlier confirmed to Sky Sports that plans for the Manchester fight with Klitschko were on hold.
"Both teams have written to the WBA to request sanctioning of our fight, but Wladimir wants the WBA belt to be on the line so until that is approved we cannot move forward," said Hearn.
"We expect news in the next few days but, in the meantime, I believe both sides will look at alternative options for December 10, while we hope to get the news we need to make the fight happen."