Anthony Joshua to be offered IBF world title eliminator
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 26/01/16 6:46pm
Anthony Joshua is set to be offered an IBF world title eliminator against Carlos Takam.
The unbeaten 26-year-old has swiftly risen through the heavyweight rankings with 15 straight victories and could soon secure a shot at the IBF belt, which is currently held by Charles Martin.
Erkan Teper is higher in the organisation's standings, but the German has tested positive for a banned substance and the IBF are waiting on a B sample test before sanctioning Joshua-Takam, which would see the winner become mandatory challenger for Martin.
IBF championships chairman Lindsey E Tucker told Sky Sports: "Teper and Takam are the next two, but if there is a problem with either one, we would go to Joshua
"If Teper is out, yes it will be Takam and Joshua. They will be fighting for the No 1 position, which is the mandatory challenge.
"We would give them the standard 30-day negotiation period and then if they did not reach the decision we would call for a purse bid."
Takam has built up 33 victories, but has also suffered two defeats, including a 10th-round stoppage loss to Alexander Povetkin.
We have opportunities everywhere and a list of fighters calling AJ out longer than my arm.
Promoter Eddie Hearn is still finalising plans for Joshua's first scheduled fight of the year at London's O2 Arena on April 9.
Hearn told Sky Sports: "We have opportunities everywhere and a list of fighters calling AJ out longer than my arm. Stay tuned for next week's announcement."
Joshua has attracted a growing number of possible opponents, with fellow Brit Dereck Chisora, New Zealand's Joseph Parker and American Bryant Jennings all expressing an interest in facing the British and Commonwealth champion.
And, whoever is confirmed as his next rival, Joshua says he is raring to go and ready to display his skills once again.
"I can't wait to get back in the ring on April 9," he said. "I feel fit and ready to take on whoever I need to continue my journey to the top.
"The atmosphere at The O2 was unbelievable in December so I'm looking forward to putting on an even bigger show for the fans. It is a really exciting time for heavyweight boxing right now so I can't wait to get fighting."
Should Joshua and his team choose not to pursue the IBF route, unbeaten Kiwi Parker is next in line and his promoter Dean Lonergan says his fighter is willing to step into the breach.
"We would more than likely like to take that fight," said Lonergan. "If we were to take that fight and win, we'll go to No 1 mandatory ahead of Anthony Joshua."