WBC Champion Povetkin to face Joshua Later this Year
Anthony Joshua is close to tying up deals for his next two fights, with Alexander Povetkin increasingly likely to be his next opponent and Deontay Wilder signing up for a blockbuster in early 2019.
A fight with Wilder, the WBC champion, has long been the preferred choice for September but those plans are set to be put back as US broadcasters do not want a clash with Canelo Alvarez’s comeback fight following his drugs ban.
It has created a scenario where Povetkin, the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s WBA title, is likely to fill a September slot, with Wilder expected to contest a unification bout with Joshua in February or March. Talks with both parties have been taking place simultaneously, with deals close on each front.
There remains a chance that Wilder will be the next fight, with dates in October and November under consideration, but promoter Eddie Hearn said his ‘gut feeling’ is that Joshua will fight Povetkin in September and then face Wilder in early 2019.
He said: ‘I believe we will get a deal done with Deontay quite soon. We are close on that. Ideally AJ and us wanted September in the UK but that isn’t working for them.
‘There is a chance we could make that fight in October or November, if it was to be AJ’s next fight, or we could do it in February or March if he fights Povetkin next.