With Anthony Joshua locked in talks with Deontay Wilder for a massive undisputed unification since the end of April, Hearn met with Povetkin’s handlers Kornilov and World of Boxing Russia supremo Andrey Ryabinskiy to discuss alternatives.
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) May 14, 2018
Hearn went over the finer points of a potential mandatory clash with Povetkin last week in the event the Wilder conversations should run into trouble – which is now the case.
Joshua wants the fight staged in the UK despite being offered $50 million by Wilder and his team to head to the United States to defend his four heavyweight titles.
As things currently stand, unless Wilder backs down on his demand to fight stateside and agrees to face Joshua in the UK, Povetkin will come into play for the fall – as Kornilov explained.
“The meeting with Eddie Hearn went great,” Kornilov exclusively told World Boxing News.
“We are still ongoing in our negotiations for Alexander Povetkin to fight Anthony Joshua in September.
“The site and country is to be finalized soon but I am hoping we can get an understanding by the end of the month.”
On whether Ryabinskiy was worried about Joshua potentially reaching an agreement with Wilder for his next fight, Kornilov seemed calm in the notion that Povetkin would be fighting for a belt regardless of the opponent.
“I think that Joshua is willing to fight Povetkin, Wilder, or anybody. We just don’t know whether Wilder is willing to fight anybody,” he pointed out.
“What I do know is that Alexander will fight for the world title next. It doesn’t matter who it is, but Team Povetkin wants to fight for the world title and we are confident it will happen,” added Kornilov.
This news means either Joshua agrees to the Povetkin stipulation handed down by the WBA in association with the WBO (mandatory with both) or risks losing at least one of his straps.
As Joshua wants all the championships in his possession, that option doesn’t seem feasible and puts Povetkin in the driving seat to be the 2012 Olympic gold medalist’s next opponent.
If Joshua and Wilder do come to an amicable but unlikely conclusion to their talks to put all the marbles in one basket, Povetkin would then need at least a shot at Manuel Charr’s regular belt in order to get his wish.
The WBA have already ordered Charr battle Fres Oquendo and called a purse bid won by the latter’s representatives, with a date in Germany set to be eyed for September.
Charr v Oquendo has already dragged on considerably, and unless a firm date is handed to the WBA soon, Povetkin could then be in with a chance of facing another Top 15 contender for the vacant belt.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay