WBA Orders Anthony Joshua To Defend Heavyweight Title Against Alexander Povetkin

The WBA has put its foot down in regards to its heavyweight title situation involving "super" Anthony Joshua, mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin and WBC champion Deontay Wilder.

When Joshua unified the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles with a unanimous decision win over Joseph Parker on March 31, the boxing community eagerly awaited the announcement of a superfight between Joshua and Wilder to crown the sport's next undisputed heavyweight champion. But the WBA now seems deadset on having Joshua fight Povetkin and fulfilling Joshua's WBA mandatory.

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The governing body has formally ordered Joshua to fight Povetkin. The WBA has notified both boxers of the order on April 5 and have 30 days to negotiate a deal or else the fight will go to a purse bid.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who promotes Joshua, reportedly offered Wilder a $12.5 million flat fee offer to fight Joshua. If Joshua does indeed fight Wilder instead of Povetkin, the unified champion runs the risk of the WBA stripping of his "super." If so, then that leaves Manuel Charr as the only WBA heavyweight world champion, holding the organization's "regular" title.

Povetkin had been the mandatory challenger for the WBA and WBO titles since last year when he defeated Christian Hammer in Russia. Povetkin last fought in the co-main event slot of the March 31 boxing event at Principality Stadium, knocking out David Price to retain the WBA Intercontinental and WBO International heavyweight titles. As for who is the mandatory challenger for Joshua's IBF heavyweight titles, the governing body ordered Dillian Whyte and Kubrat Pulev to fight in a final title eliminator.

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