What Eddie Hearn has said after Anthony Joshua is ordered to fight Povetkin

The proposed blockbuster bout between unbeaten heavyweights Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder has seemingly hit another roadblock.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn believed Wilder is ‘playing games’ by not signing on the dotted line and therefore is looking to press ahead with plans for Joshua to fight Russian heavyweight Alexander Povetkin in September.

That comes on the same day that the WBA ordered Joshua to sign a mandatory defence against Povetkin within the next 24 hours.

The 38-year-old is certainly no pushover with 34 wins from 35 bouts with 24 by knockout.

While naturally frustrated with a possible delay to the megafight with Wilder, Hearn understood the thought process of the WBA.

“I think they have just said enough is enough,” Hearn told Sky Sports, when asked about the WBA ruling.

“We need to know what you’re doing, you’re mandated to fight Alexander Povektin, and I think Povetkin’s people are getting extremely restless as well.

“They have been waiting and to be fair to them, they have been patient, but [WBA president] Gilberto Mendoza has clearly decided enough is enough and we’ve got to move.

“He [Joshua] knows that Povetkin is an extremely tough fight. Deontay Wilder is another fight that he wants badly.

“We can’t do a lot more than we’re doing. I think Anthony is frustrated that he feels, people feel he might not want this fight. He wants that fight more than anything.

“We sent the contract nearly nine days ago now. We’re not even necessarily expecting a signed contract back. We just want your comments.

“If my fighter wanted a fight, and we received a contract, I would be back with the comments within 24 hours.

“It’s very, very frustrating and right now it looks like Povetkin is next.”

The key thing that the Joshua camp have to do is keep their focus whoever the next opponent is going to be.

If the Wilder fight is put on the back burner yet again, then Joshua must channel his undoubted frustration into defeating the Russian, whose only defeat came on points against Wladimir Klitschko.

Hearn knows the next few weeks are crucial for his man.

He added: “The important thing for us is to maintain the belts and not be disrupted by people playing games or people who want to mess us about, because we’re not going to allow that to happen to Anthony Joshua’s career.

“If it is Alexander Povetkin, it will be in September, that’s for sure, and then we fight Wilder straight after, if he signs a contract.

“But the way they are going at the moment, I can’t tell you whether this contract gets signed in 10 days or 10 years.”

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