The Briton holds the WBA ‘super’ belt and is one away from holding the big four – with only Deontay Wilder’s WBC title keeping him from completely unifying the heavyweight division.
However, it appears as though Joshua may be kept waiting to complete his ‘road to undisputed’, with Povetkin in line to face him next and negotiations for a fight between the two must be completed within a 30-day window.
Speaking about the 28-year-old’s next likely fight, promoter Eddie Hearn revealed to Sky Sports that Joshua’s next fight will indeed be one of Povetkin or Wilder.
“The WBA called the mandatory yesterday for AJ to face Povetkin next.
“We have a 30 day window to negotiate – at this stage it means it’s very likely Anthony’s next fight will be between Wilder or Povetkin.”
Alexander Povetkin beat David Price last week (Reuters)
Povetkin’s promoters, World of Boxing, took to Twitter to post a statement about their mandatory position.
“Povetkin is now a mandatory contender of Anthony Joshua. He was appointed by WBA.Whyte ordered to face Pulev that could jeopardise Joshua vs Wilder
“Now there are 150 days to arrange the fight, it must take place. Before the fight with Sasha, Joshua has no right to fight with anybody else. We have 30 days to negotiate.”
Povetkin was on the undercard of Joshua’s fight against then WBO champion Joseph Parker, where he defeated David Price with a devastating fifth-round knockout despite being shaken earlier in the fight by the 6 ft 8 Englishman.