Charles Martin and Andy Ruiz Jr ‘to meet in eliminator for Anthony Joshua’s IBF title’ – The Sun

CHARLES MARTIN could secure himself an unlikely rematch against Anthony Joshua with the American in line for a final eliminator.

The 33-year-old won the vacant IBF title in January 2016 after Vyacheslav Glazkov suffered a knee injury during their fight.


But just 85 days later he sat down for AJ after two rounds in what was the Brit’s coronation night with the Martin having the second shortest reign as heavyweight champion.

In a career turnaround the ex-champion finds himself as the No2 ranked challenger by the IBF – with Pulev currently mandatory for Joshua's belt and set to fight the unified champion on June 20.

According to World Boxing News, Martin could fight Andy Ruiz Jr – who shocked AJ in June before losing the rematch six months later – in a final eliminator to become the IBF's next mandatory challenger.

It is claimed mystery boxing mogul and Premier Boxing Champions boss Al Haymon will push the governing body to have Ruiz leap ahead of Oleksandr Usyk and Agit Kabayel to face Martin in the title eliminator.

However, with IBF challenger Pulev next in line for Joshua's belts, the winner between Martin and Ruiz would have to wait for the WBO and WBA mandatory title defences to be completed.

After Joshua regained his belts against Ruiz with a points with in Saudi Arabia, he was mandated to defend his belts by both the IBF and WBO.

But WBO challenger Usyk will have to wait until Joshua faces Pulev, who was considered first in line.

Usyk will face AJ's Finchley amateur boxing pal Derek Chisora in his next fight on May 23 before targeting a shot at the unified titles.

But that fight, as well as Pulev's title showdown with Joshua, faces being postponed to the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

The British Board of Boxing Control have already cancelled all events until they review the developments amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed he has dates in line to push the two heavyweight fights back should coronavirus KO their original slots. 

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