It’s no secret the World Boxing Association have ordered Alexander Povetkin to be given his shot at heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua following an announcement on Friday by promoter Andriy Ryabinskiy.
Povetkin expects to begin negotiations with Joshua within 30 days and share the ring with the Londoner by the beginning of September.
This means a Wembley Stadium clash at the back end of July could be workable for Joshua’s handlers at Matchroom Boxing and see an undisputed unification with WBC title holder Deontay Wilder on hold.
Add to that a recent IBF mandate for a final eliminator between Dillian Whyte and Kubrat Pulev, all of which sees Joshua’s 2018 calender all but planned well in advance.
Wilder could hold out hope to be trading punches with Joshua by next spring, although Eddie Hearn has also made a title shot promise to Jarrell Miller as ‘AJ’ eyes a debut in the United States.
All in all – Joshua v Wilder, provided all the titles remain in place and the Briton follows orders, could potentially happen in the summer of 2019 should Hearn put provisions in place with the WBA, IBF and WBO for a whole year without a mandatory being ordered.
Joshua and Wilder are known to want two fights agreed, meaning their saga will take at least 12 months to complete with a pair of training camps, recovery time and further allowance added for the next number one contender defense.
Hearn would have to disappoint Miller to have any chance of getting Joshua and ‘The Bronze Bomber’ in the ring any earlier, which ultimately means the ‘Big Baby’ would be looking at 2020 at the earliest for his shot.
AJ’s title timeline:
July-August: Alexander Povetkin (WBA/WBO mandatory) UK
November-December: Dillian Whyte or Kubrat Pulev (IBF mandatory) UK
March-April: Jarrell Miller or Deontay Wilder (Voluntary / Undisputed Unification) USA
July-August: Deontay Wilder (Undisputed Unification) UK
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay