The World Boxing Association is ready to order champion Anthony Joshua to defend his WBA heavyweight title against mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin. The WBA will be ordering the fight within 24 hours, according to Sky Sports News.
Gilberto Mendoza, president of the Panama-based sanctioning organization, issued that order because the WBA doesn’t want to wait any longer for a deal to be consummated between Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) and WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) for a heavyweight title unification fight. Sky Sports first reported the WBA’s 24-hour order to complete a Joshua-Povetkin deal.
“Today the WBA requested an answer from Anthony Joshua’s team regarding his fight with the mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin,” WBA president Gilberto Mendoza said to skysports.com. “It appears the Wilder team have not returned the contract for the fight and therefore we are requesting a date for the Joshua versus Povetkin fight with immediate effect.”
The 38-year-old Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs) defeated England’s David Price (22-5, 18 KOs) by fifth-round knockout in his most recent fight. That bout took place on the Joshua-Joseph Parker undercard March 31 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Russia’s Povetkin, a former WBA heavyweight champion, has lost only a 12-round unanimous decision to Wladimir Klitschko in their title unification fight in October 2013 in Moscow.