The Anthony Joshua opponent saga continues as Eddie Hearn has thrown Alexander Povektin’s name into the mix as a potential option for 2018.
As talks for unifications against Joseph Parker and Deontay Wilder hit a roadblock, separate possibilities are opening up for Joshua to consider.
Next week’s clash between Povetkin and Christian Hammer is set to be sanctioned as a mandatory contest, with the Russian said to have first refusal on which organization he opts for.
That means choosing the WBA puts Povetkin (or Hammer should he cause an upset) in the frame for Joshua and could be a sound starting point for the Briton should Parker turn down a battle for the spring.
“We have spoken about Joshua vs Povetkin, and the likelihood of that,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“We have a really good relationship with World of Boxing, who are his promoters.
“They have a situation where they can fight a final eliminator to be the mandatory for Joshua, or for the WBO, so they are making that decision now,” he added.
Getting stipulated clashes out of the way seems to be the preferred route for Joshua and Hearn at the moment following on from clearing things up with the IBF last October.
A win over Carlos Takam pushed Kubrat Pulev out of the frame for the time being after the Bulgarian was unable to compete himself through injury.
Pulev will be ordered for Joshua later in 2018, although the 28 year-old has the opportunity to fight for the public interest opposite either Parker or Wilder over the next six to eight months.
Povetkin and Pulev are not essential contests for Joshua to take at the moment and it will purely be down to whether the unified champion can agree terms to potentially add more belts to his haul.
More could come to light once the dust settles on the Povetkin v Hammer offering in Ekaterinburg next weekend.