Joshua vs Fury faces fresh stumbling block as WBA in talks over final eliminator

Anthony Joshua soon looks set to have another mandatory challenger – adding a further stumbling block to the two-fight deal which has been agreed in principle with Tyson Fury.

All eyes are on the much-anticipated clash between Joshua and Fury, which would currently see all the belts in the heavyweight division on offer.

The pair have already held talks and arranged a two-fight deal in principle for 2021 with the monetary split between the fighters agreed.

But there is still plenty standing in the way of the fights with Joshua facing IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev and Fury facing another rematch with Deontay Wilder later this year.

Provided the pair both win those fights, Fury will have another mandatory challenger for his WBC belt with Dillian Whyte waiting over 1000 days for his world title shot.

Joshua also has another mandatory challenger for the WBO belt in the form of Oleksandr Usyk, with the former cruiserweight king set to fight Dereck Chisora in 2020.

And he could also face another mandatory for his WBA belt with talks for Robert Helenius to contest a final eliminator later this year.

Helenius, known as the 'Nordic Nightmare', beat Adam Kownacki in a WBA eliminator in March, making him WBA 'Gold' champion.

He told Sky Sports: "I think they are going [into] that discussion now with PBC for the final eliminator fight. I hope they are planning to do that."

Luis Ortiz and Andy Ruiz Jr are both highly-ranked by the WBA, and asked about facing them Helenius said: "Of course. I think anybody.

"I have to win every fight to get to a world championship fight, so I'm ready for anybody."

Joshua beat Alexander Povetkin in a mandatory defence of his WBA belt back in September 2018.

Whilst the chances of a new mandatory WBA challenger getting in the way of the Fury fight seem slim, it is another stumbling block which could need to be overcome.

Mandatories for both fighters are stacking up with Usyk for the WBO and Whyte for the WBC, leading to increasing chances the fight may not be for the undisputed title when it takes place.

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