British star Anthony Joshua may be forced to fulfil a mandatory WBO title defence after his upcoming bout with Alexander Povetkin. The WBA ‘super’, IBF and WBO heavyweight world champion is currently in training for his September 22 clash with Russian star Povetkin.
The duo will meet at Wembley after the WBA called a mandatory bout earlier this year.
Joshua is still looking to secure a unification fight with WBC champion Deontay Wilder, who is reportedly eager to face Tyson Fury before the end of the year.
Dillian Whyte is also pursuing a rematch with Joshua and the WBO have confirmed they are set to call a mandatory fight, which could ruin Joshua’s plans to unify the division.
A statement from the organisation to Sky Sports read: “With respect to our WBO heavyweight champion Mr. Anthony Joshua, be advised that Joshua has 180 days counting from the date of his last compulsory defence (after the Alexander Povetkin bout) to fulfil his mandatory defence obligations.”