It’s been a full week since the World Boxing Association ordered a mandatory fight between Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin to be signed within 24 hours and WBN understands the contest is not yet inked for September.
This completely contradicts a decision to break off from talks with Deontay Wilder for a massive undisputed unification clash worth upwards of $100m (over two fights taking Wilder’s $50m offer) to the current heavyweight king.
Rumors have begun to surface that Joshua is unhappy at Wilder talks ending when WBA President Gilberto Mendoza told promoter Eddie Hearn to push through a mandatory fight with Povetkin.
Mendoza had said last week: “The WBA requested an answer from Anthony Joshua’s team regarding his fight with the mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin.
“The WBA have allowed over a month extension to negotiations with Povetkin and also 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 v Povetkin fight with immediate effect.”
Joshua has since taken a huge amount of stick in the media after the Wilder bout fell apart and is said to be considering his next move ahead of an expected Povetkin announcement for September 22 at Wembley.
With a Povetkin fight still set to go ahead as of today, Joshua could take a stand and order his team to make the Wilder fight happen for next year after missing out on a fortune in purse and Pay-Per-View revenue.
Being fully briefed on negotiations throughout Joshua v Wilder contact, WBN has been informed that TV rights played a big part in Joshua v Wilder collapsing along with the already mentioned contract sticking points.
Hearn wanted the fight shown live on DAZN in the United States after signing a lucrative deal, whilst Wilder’s team believed Showtime PPV was the way to go as at least a two-fight deal was expected.
On Wednesday, WBN asked World of Boxing Russia’s Vadim Kornilov what the delay was on the Povetkin fight, only to be told, ‘There will be an announcement soon about the location and next fight for Povetkin’ on a collision with Joshua.
More will be revealed soon.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay