By Keith Idec
The WBA ordered Anthony Joshua on Tuesday to make a deal to battle necessary challenger Alexander Povetkin inside 24 hours.
Gilberto Mendoza, president of the Panama-based sanctioning group, issued that order as a result of the WBA doesn’t need to wait any longer for a deal to be consummated between Joshua (21-Zero, 20 KOs) and WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-Zero, 39 KOs) for a heavyweight title unification battle. A Joshua-Wilder showdown can be one of many greatest fights in boxing and would make far more cash than the mandated Joshua-Povetkin bout, however Joshua’s necessary protection is overdue.
The WBA granted Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, 30 extra days final month to make a deal for the Wilder battle or his necessary protection versus Povetkin. As of Tuesday morning, Wilder’s handlers hadn’t returned a signed contract for a battle in opposition to Joshua.
“Today the WBA requested an answer from Anthony Joshua’s team regarding his fight with mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin,” Mendoza stated in an announcement issued Tuesday. “The WBA [has] allowed over a month extension to negotiations with Povetkin and likewise ongoing discussions with Deontay Wilder.
“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.”
England’s Joshua, 28, additionally owns the IBF, IBO and WBO heavyweight titles.
The 38-year-old Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs) defeated England’s David Price (22-5, 18 KOs) by fifth-round knockout in his most up-to-date battle. That bout came about on the Joshua-Joseph Parker undercard March 31 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Russia’s Povetkin, a former WBA heavyweight champion, has misplaced solely a 12-round unanimous determination to Wladimir Klitschko of their title unification battle in October 2013 in Moscow.
Since struggling that lopsided loss to Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs), Povetkin has twice examined optimistic for performance-enhancing medication. His first failure led to the cancelation of his WBC-mandated battle with Wilder in May 2016.
Keith Idec is a senior author/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He could be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.