Anthony Joshua To Fight Povetkin With Immediate Effect
Anthony Joshua To Fight Povetkin With Immediate Effect, as the Wilder fight is still far from complete.
The World Boxing Association (WBA) wants British heavyweight champion, Antony Joshua, to sign a contract abiding him to a fight with WBA’s mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin. With immediate effect, or risk being stripped the title.
This comes against the backdrop of a failed agreement for a fight between him and American heavyweight Deontay Wilder. Although Joshua’s camp sent them a contract, camp Wilder was unable to send it back in proper time.
A statement issued by WBA president Gilberto Mendoza said in part. “It appears the Wilder team have not returned the contract for the fight and therefore we are requesting a date for the Joshua versus Povetkin fight with immediate effect.”
Joshua, the current holder of the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles hoped for a bout with Wilder. In a fight that would have seen him attempt to dethrone Wilder off the WBC title.
It will now be Povetkin’s turn to attempt reigning over Joshua, in a fight that could turn out to be one of the toughest for both boxers.
When Povetkin fought as undercard in the Joshua vs Parker match in March, he made an impressive stoppage of David Price, throwing him down on the fifth round.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has said that they can run after Wilder once they are done with the mandatory WBA challenge.
“We’re not going to lose a belt to the WBA through ordering a mandatory, If Povetkin is ready to go then, that will be next. It will be in September, and then we fight Wilder straight after if he signs a contract.”
One thing is clear though; that a fight with Wilder is only suspended until AJ is done with the WBA requirement.
“The important thing is to maintain the belts.” Said Hearn, underlining the need for AJ to honour the WBA fight which is long overdue.
Hearn expressed his disappointment with Wilder’s team saying that all feels like a big game,
“They know we’re under pressure from the WBA and it all feels like a big game. We have to get on with our business. If Povetkin is ready to sign a contract, then he’s next. Conversations and negotiations will continue with Deontay Wilder, and we’ll sign that contract at any moment.”
Last December, Povetkin (34-1, 24 KO) became the WBA mandatory challenger after triumphing over Romanian Christian Hammer. By a unanimous decision and kept it tight by beating David Price in Cardiff.
Wilder exploded tweeting angrily over Joshua’s agreement to the WBA mandatory challenge. In an expletive tweet, Wilder termed Joshua “a weak-minded coward that’s holding hard metal.”
“All they had to do is say they were scared to fight. Period. “Said Wilder, “But instead they made themselves look like what they are, not stand up guys.”
It is such twists and turns that make boxing fun and exciting. Joshua, a seemingly soft-spoken man who hardly trades bile for bile with his opponents, is a darling of British fans and one that Hearn banks on heavily. Any move he makes going forward attracts considerable interest from the boxing fraternity.