WBC president: World waiting for Wilder vs. Joshua

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WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman says his world governing body will support a world heavyweight title unification fight between Deontay Wilder and the winner of Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko.

WBC champion Wilder last fought in February — a fifth-round stoppage of Gerald Washington — and Sulaiman says he is next due to make a mandatory and sixth defence against Bermane Stiverne, who he won the belt off in Jan 2015.

American Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs), 31, was last week charged with second-degree misdemeanour marijuana possession in his home state of Alabama and released on a $1,000 bond.

“I believe it’s a must that we have more unification fights in boxing,” Sulaiman told ESPN. “Because there are so many champions, a good champion can run out of contenders.

“Wilder and Joshua is a must. I think the world be waiting for that fight and I don’t see anyone beating either of them.

“Wilder has a mandatory [defence] and we are looking into that as we speak. Bermane Stiverne is the mandatory.

“We are all for it [Wilder versus Joshua]. If both fighters are available for that unification we will be in complete support of seeing it.”

Wilder has said he wants a unification fight with WBO champion Joseph Parker (23-0, 18 KOs), but ESPN understands the New Zealand boxer is in talks to defend his title against mandatory challenger Hughie Fury (20-0, 10 KOs) in England this September.

Fury, cousin of former champion Tyson, pulled out of fighting Parker in New Zealand last month due to a back injury.

The other world heavyweight titles are held by Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs), 27, after the Briton knocked out Klitschko, 41, in a stunning fight in April and the pair are expected to meet in a rematch in October or November.

Ukrainian Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs), the former world No. 1 who reigned for over nine years as champion, has yet to confirm his intentions but Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is already working on venues and dates, with the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, believed to be among the front-runners to stage it.

If Klitschko declines the option of a rematch, Joshua will fight Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev next instead.

Sulaiman also hopes another big fight at lightweight will be made later this year, if both Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares are successful in their next fights.

Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs), from California, defends his WBC title against American Adrien Broner, who has recently completed a short jail term, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on July 29.

Venezuela’s Linares (42-3, 27 KOs), who is based in Las Vegas, is a former WBC champion who is due to defend his WBA version of the world title against mandatory challenger Luke Campbell, from England, possibly on Sep 23.

Both Linares, who also holds the WBC’s secondary Diamond belt, and Garcia have won world titles in three weight classes.

“Garcia and Linares, each one has a fight first,” Sulaiman added. “Garcia fights Broner and Linares fights Luke Campbell, I’m not sure, and then the winners fight each other.”

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