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By: Team Red Zone 3 weeks ago

Boxer Alexander Povetkin is understood to have began preparations for a potential heavyweight clash with Anthony Joshua. Povetkin, who is entitled to a mandatory challenge of Joshua’s WBA title, has been forced to wait for his chance, with Joshua locked in negotiations with American Deontay Wilder.

It’s been a frustrating few weeks for Anthony Joshua. Both the 28-year-old has and his promoter Eddie Hearn have been desperate to finalise negotiations with Deontay Wilder’s camp over a potential unification fight, yet to two parties just cannot seem to agree terms. Wilder’s unwillingness to commit to a fight means that Joshua may have to wait until 2019 to get his hands on the WBC title. It does spell good news for Alexander Povetkin however, who could not get his shot against AJ as early as September.

Earlier this week, the WBA demanded that Anthony Joshua sign a contract to defend his heavyweight title against Povetkin, and according to the Russian’s promoters, a deal could be finalised over the next few days.

“I’m happy that everything is working out,” said Povetkin promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy. “It’s been a pleasure going through the negotiations with Eddie and I cannot wait for us to start the preparations for the fight.”

“We are very close and we plan to finalise the deal very soon,” he continued.

“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.”

Alexander Povetkin has lost just one of his 35 fights since turning pro in 2005, losing to Wladimir Klitschko back in 2013. “If the Wilder-Joshua fight is going to happen, it’s going to happen. Right now Povetkin-Joshua and that’s what it’s all about.” Ryabinskiy continued.

“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.”

Photos: Getty