WBA granted Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko as part of heavyweight tournament
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 25/01/17 1:08pm
The WBA has revealed how Anthony Joshua's Wembley fight with Wladimir Klitschko fits into its plans to establish one heavyweight champion.
Joshua defends his IBF heavyweight title against Klitschko at Wembley Stadium on April 29, live on Sky Sports Box Office, and the vacant WBA 'super' title is also at stake.
The WBA's attempts to create one title holder were derailed last year, with Lucas Browne testing positive for a banned substance shortly after winning the 'regular' title, while Tyson Fury relinquished the 'super' title to focus on problems outside the ring.
WBA president Gilberto Mendoza still intends to crown one dominant champion and has planned a six-man tournament, which will see Luis Ortiz fight the winner of Joshua-Klitschko for the 'super' title, while Alexander Ustinov has been lined up to face either Shannon Briggs or Fres Oquendo when they battle for the 'regular' belt.
At some point in time, I will have the two winners of those two brackets facing each other in order to have one champion.
"After a lot of thinking, we thought that the condition to the winner of Joshua and Klitschko - two boxers that deserve to fight for a 'super' championship - will get to fight Ortiz," Mendoza told Sky Sports.
"On the other side, you have Briggs fighting Oquendo and the winner will fight Ustinov. At some point in time, I will have the two winners of those two brackets facing each other in order to have one champion."
The postponement of fights has delayed the WBA's plans in the heavyweight division and Mendoza admits it could take time to recognise a solitary title holder.
"It has been a long road in order to have certain fights happen," said Mendoza. "At least I expect that Joshua and Klitschko happen and Briggs-Oquendo happen.
"After that, we will have mandatories for each one. Ortiz on one side, and the other we are talking about Ustinov.
"The ideal scenario for the WBA would be to make the winners of those fights face each other immediately and the winner would have a lot of time to defend against another mandatory. But I don't want to jump on it, because you never know.
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