Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn says that he believes a deal to put Anthony Joshua in with Deontay Wilder is coming soon, but that it still may not be their next fight, as WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin is also “very close” to a done deal.
“A deal with Povetkin is close. Very close. It’s either going to be Wilder then Povetkin or Povetkin then Wilder. I believe that a deal will be done within the next month or so for Joshua to fight Wilder, it’s just a case of whether we jump in with Povetkin first.”
Personally, I think Hearn would be a bit nuts to put Joshua (21-0, 20 KO) in with Povetkin (34-1, 23 KO) if he can get a deal done with Wilder (40-0, 39 KO).
Yes, Joshua would be the favorite against the Russian veteran, but a lot crazier things have happened in the history of boxing than Alexander Povetkin upsetting Anthony Joshua. I know it’s a mandatory, but every step of the way they’ve talked like that could be put off with an exception to face Wilder first. If you can get Joshua-Wilder done, I think you have to pull the trigger on that and put other fights aside.
Now if that’s not possible, if the WBA won’t allow an exception, then sure, Joshua doesn’t want to give up his belt. One of the selling points of Joshua-Wilder, after all, is that it would be a full unification of the heavyweight division.
The Povetkin camp is pretty sure they’re next, according to recent reports.