Anthony Joshua and Dereck Chisora were offered the opportunity to fight for the vacant European heavyweight title, but the proposed bout will not take place.
According to the European Boxing Union, via Boxing News, the reason for the collapse of this intriguing all-British clash is that Joshua has declined a shot at the blue belt once held by Chisora.
“Unfortunately Joshua did not accept to dispute the EBU title,” stated Enza Jacaponi, General Secretary of the continental governing body.
Due to Joshua’s decision, Chisora will instead contest the title with Kubrat Pulev, a capable Bulgarian best known for his star turns in various Wladimir Klitschko highlight reels. Pulev too is a former European champion.
Speaking to Sky Sports regarding the news, Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, stated that his interactions with Chisora’s people had led him to believe they were uninterested in the fight and as a result he shifted his focus elsewhere.
“We spoke with Chisora and his team who clearly didn’t want the fight,” said Hearn. “So we moved on very quickly – we can’t afford to get slowed in getting things down and will announce AJ’s next opponent at the end of this week”.
Hearn has already confirmed that the Watford giant will see action on April 9th at London’s O2 Arena, and various reports are suggesting that he could well take on Carlos Takam in a final eliminator for the IBF title.
That belt was vacated by Tyson Fury after he refused to face mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov and is now in the possession of 29-year-old American Charles Martin, who beat Glazkov in Brooklyn on the 16th of January.
The 35-year-old Takam has won three fights on the trot against uninspiring opposition since he was absolutely flattened by Alexander Povetkin back in October of 2014, but prior to that he had registered a win over two-time world title challenger Tony Thompson and fought to a draw against Mike Perez in a bout that most people felt he should have won. He has an overall ledger of 33-2-1, with 25 of those wins coming via stoppage.
Sky Sports, however, are claiming that this fight is dependent on the results from tests carried out on the B-sample of German heavyweight and David Price conqueror Erkan Teper, who has recently been caught up in a drug-scandal. If those were to come back negative, Teper might yet step into the eliminator opposite Takam.