At the beck end of last week and beginning of this week rumors circulated that mandatory WBA challenger Alexander Povetkin was threatening to call on purse bids for a fight with Anthony Joshua.
Well those rumors seem to have been accurate with the WBA issuing a deadline for both sides to come to an agreement.
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn made a public statement this week: “We’ve got a situation with Povetkin where probably next week they’ll (WBA) call for purse bids then it takes another two weeks, something like that for the purse bids,” said Hearn.
“I think realistically two weeks is the absolute deadline.
“We’re speaking very frequently, and to be fair to Deontay he understands.
“It’s not like he’s moaning about it. He always felt that he’d have to come to the UK and like I said they made a strong offer,” Hearn added.
“Some of the points, or some of the clauses in that offer weren’t acceptable, some were.
“We could have talked about them but it was just a decision from the team that the first one should be in the UK.
“We want to go in September and that’s either going to be, most likely at this stage, Wilder or Povetkin.
“Both are tough fights. By the end of this week I want to be in a position to know if Wilder wants the fight.”
It does seem that the WBA and Team Povetkin have become impatient – which is very understandable – with the drawn out delay from both camps to get this fight signed.
The unified world heavyweight champion has made it crystal clear that he wants the first fight to take place in the UK. I don’t think many boxing experts or ‘real’ boxing fans would begrudge the Londoner’s stand on this decision especially as he deserves the right to fight for undisputed supremacy on British soil.
After all it is Joshua that has managed to pick up four world titles whereas Wilder has just sat on his WBC title for quite a while now without pushing himself into any unification fights.
Last week Hearn gave the reasons why Joshua wants the first fight in the UK: “One for the fans and two he feels like he’s earned that right.”
As a fellow Londoner that was music to my ears as we have never had an undisputed heavyweight fight on these shores before plus I’m pleased that Joshua is thinking of his fans when it comes to his decision making. Especially when almost 250,000 of them have paid good money to watch his last three fights.
With the deadline looming and Hearn being modest about on-going discussions with Wilders representatives, ‘The Bronze Bomber’ went public with aspirations of moving down to the cruiserweight division: “What’s up boxing world. You know I just been sitting in my car thinking. I been thinking about once I unify the heavyweight division, moving down to the cruiserweight division, taking over that division.
“I mean there’s never been a heavyweight champion ever go down in weight. I mean just for the fun of it! Just take over the cruiserweight division while maintaining the heavyweight division. What you guys think?”
History suggests that Wilder may well be biting off more than he can chew; look no further than when Roy Jones Jr tried it back in 2013 against Antonio Tarver. I’m guessing this is just another one of his publicity stunts that defers public attention away from the elephant in the room – Anthony Joshua.
While the boxing world were discussing if the American could actually fight under the 200lb weight limit Povetkin was quietly speaking in Moscow about his chances of facing Joshua. The 38-year-old said: “I am the mandatory challenger for the WBA world champion’s belt, which currently belongs to Joshua.
“It is unclear when and where this fight will happen as everything depends on our promoters. However, I believe the fight is more likely to be held in Great Britain this autumn.
“I will begin with my training sessions, when the exact date of the bout is announced,” added the Russian.
The shenanigans of team Wilder seem to only ignite his fans who believe every word that comes out of the repulsive WBC champion’s mouth which at times can be very frustrating.
Just my two pennies worth but I am completely in agreement with the main man Billy C that Joshua verse Wilder will not happen this year. Don’t get me wrong I hope that I’m wrong as I want to see the fight just as much as the next fan.
I can’t help but envision Wilder stalling until Joshua has no choice but to take the Povetkin fight. Once it’s publically announced Wilder will jump straight onto social media and tell the world how Joshua has ducked him.