After hearing that the World Boxing Association had given their heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 24 hours to sign a contract to face mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin, The Russian’s team has welcomed the news. Povetkin’s promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy, looks set to agree a September showdown after talks with WBC champion Deontay Wilder dramatically fell apart.
"I’m happy that everything is working out," Ryabinskiy told Sky Sports. "It’s been a pleasure going through the negotiations with Eddie(Hearn) and I cannot wait for us to start the preparations for the fight."
Following the meeting with Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn in May, Vadim Kornilov, a manager at World of Boxing, added: "We are very close and we plan to finalise the deal very soon".
"The WBA has actually been very patient, but now they are pushing us to finalise this mandatory deal.
"I think Povetkin and Joshua are two gold medallists, a very competitive, top of the line fight. I think this is the best fight in the heavyweight division today.
Regarding the failure to land a Joshua vs Wilder unification fight, Kornikov added: "The fans should be happy, they should not be disappointed, because to be honest with you, I think the fans are going to get a much more competitive and exciting fight in this one.Wilder-Joshua has been a lot of hype, this fight is the real deal."