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SPORTS UPDATE

WBC approves Joshua, Fury fight

Anthony Joshua has entered the WBC rankings “on his merits” and would be approved as a challenger for Tyson Fury, confirmed WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman.

Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports, Sulaiman explained why Joshua had gone straight into their world heavyweight top 10.

“Joshua entered the ratings [on] his merits and since he does not have any commitment for another organisation,” Sulaiman said.

With negotiations ongoing for Joshua to take on Tyson Fury in all-British heavyweight clash, Joshua’s new ranking is another key step towards him challenging Fury, the WBC heavyweight champion.

Sulaiman has told Sky Sports that this rating means Joshua is now eligible to fight Fury for their heavyweight title.

He maintained too that Joshua has been included in the WBC’s rankings as recognition for his achievements.

Although Joshua failed to win back the WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles when he lost his rematch with Usyk, that defeat has actually freed him up to challenge Fury for the WBC belt.

Anthony Joshua’s management have accepted terms ahead of a potential fight with Tyson Fury on December 3

“He was not rated before because he was champion of other organisations and then he was signed to fight for other organisations,” Sulaiman told Sky Sports.

Joshua needed this ranking to be an acceptable opponent for Fury to make a voluntary title defence against.

Asked if Joshua is now eligible to challenge Fury, Sulaiman responded: “Yes, he is.”

Furthermore, there are no current mandatory obligations for the WBC title that would stop Fury from fighting Joshua on their proposed date of December 3.

As Fury’s last fight, when he halted Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium in April, was a mandatory defence that means the champion has the time now to take on a voluntary challenger.

The heavyweight that will eventually become the mandatory challenger for the WBC belt won’t be determined at least until November at the WBC’s convention in Acapulco, with bouts taking place before then being designated as eliminators, like Andy Ruiz’s win over Luis Ortiz and Deontay Wilder’s upcoming contest with Robert Helenius in October.

The WBC is no obstruction to Anthony Joshua challenging Tyson Fury for their title and attempting to become a three-time heavyweight world champion. All the fighters and their teams need to do now is agree a deal.

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