Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin: Eddie Hearn confirms Joshua WILL fight Russian next to avoid losing WBA title

ANTHONY JOSHUA'S promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed that the heavyweight superstar WILL face Alexander Povetkin next.

That means the blockbuster unification bout with Deontay Wilder appears dead in the water.

 Promoter Eddie Hearn, right, confirmed Anthony Joshua will fight Alexander Povetkin - not Deontay Wilder - next

REUTERS
Promoter Eddie Hearn, right, confirmed Anthony Joshua will fight Alexander Povetkin – not Deontay Wilder – next

Earlier today, WBA president Gilberto Mendoza told AJ's camp that he would be stripped of his WBA title if he did not confirm a deal with mandatory challenger Povetkin in the next 24 hours.

Hearn said on Sky Sports: "We can’t do a lot more than we’re doing, I think Anthony’s [Joshua] frustrated that – you know he feels people feel that he may not want the fight (with Wilder), he wants that fight more than anything.

"We sent the contract nearly nine days ago now, we’re not even necessarily expecting a signed contract back we just want your comments.

"If I wanted a fight, my fighter wanted a fight, we would be back with the contract within 24 hours, nothing makes sense here at all.

 The WBA threatened to strip Joshua of their title if he didn't fight mandatory challenger Povetkin, left

News Group Newspapers Ltd
The WBA threatened to strip Joshua of their title if he didn't fight mandatory challenger Povetkin, left

"[Team Wilder] emailed me on Sunday and said: 'we will be back with our comments on Friday,' why do you need another five or six days?

"They know we’re under pressure from the WBA and it all feels like a big game.

"This Wilder fight is one that has to get done and has to signed, it’s a fight we desperately want.

"But at the same time we’re not going to give up a belt and we’re not going to lose a belt to the WBA for ordering the mandatory and if Povetkin's ready to go – then that will be next."

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ANTHONY JOSHUA'S promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed that the heavyweight superstar WILL face Alexander Povetkin next.