Joshua given 24 hours to sign
The ongoing negotiation saga between Anthony Joshua and Wilder now looks set to be shelved, for a few months at least, as Joshua has been ordered to sign for a mandatory WBA title defence against Povetkin within 24 hours. The WBA have grown impatient and ordered the British star to sign and fulfil his title obligations to Povetkin.
WBA president Gilberto Mendoza had granted Joshua an extra month to discuss the prospect of a fight with Wilder, however, due to the fact that he still has not agreed on a deal, he has called on Joshua to finalise a bout with mandatory challenger Povetkin for the WBA belt.
Gilberto Mendoza said: “Today the WBA requested an answer from Anthony Joshua’s team regarding his fight with the mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin.
“The WBA have allowed over a month extension to negotiations with Povetkin and also ongoing discussions with Deontay Wilder.
“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.”
‘AJ’ must now make a massive decision on whether to continue pursuing the Wilder fight as his next outing, which would mean he would have to part ways with his WBA (Super) title, or keep hold of his belt by agreeing to fight Povetkin.
Meanwhile, Hearn has rejected claims that he refused to clarify two details in the contract sent to Wilder’s manager, Shelly Finkel.
“Let’s just stick to facts. We made them an offer firstly, they didn’t even reply,” Hearn said of the Wilder discussions.
“They made us an offer, we asked to see a contract, they refused to send one.
“We made them another offer, after nearly four weeks they accepted and asked for a contract and we sent them one. If they want the fight they will sign it.”