Eddie Hearn has revealed the move he's made to ensure AJ v Povetkin is smoother than Parker fight

Anthony Joshua will step back into the ring to defend his world championships on September 22nd.

It won’t, however, be against Deontay Wilder as was widely expected but instead, he’ll face Alexander Povetkin.

The Russian is the mandatory challenger for Joshua and will get the chance to claim three of the Briton’s four belts at Wembley.

Both men last fought at the same event – with Povetkin knocking out David Price on the undercard of Joshua’s points victory over Joseph Parker.

That knockout has put Povetkin in line for his first shot at the elite gold since 2013 when he was defeated by Wladimir Klitschko by unanimous decision.

Joshua also has something to prove, however – his victory over Parker wasn’t as convincing as many had hoped, leaving the champion in need of a statement win to silence some of the doubters.

And his team have already found one way to make sure this fight is different.

Eddie Hearn revealed on Saturday morning that Joshua v Povetkin is likely to have an English referee.

“It will be an English ref,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “We’re looking at an English ref with that fight because they’re some of the best in the world.”

Joshua v Parker was infamously affected by the Italian referee who most considered to be far too invasive, regularly getting involved and forcing the fighters apart.

Both sides complained and now steps are being taken to ensure that the Povetkin clash won’t be marred by anything similar.

As for any worries about bias, Hearn confirmed that his counterparts have no complaints about their choice.

“[Povetkin’s promoters] World of Boxing are happy with a British ref,” Hearn said.

“It will have to be approved by the Board. British refs are the best in the world.”

Povetkin’s victory over Price was also officiated by a British referee, seemingly ruling out any problems they may have – but you have to imagine this puts a little extra pressure on Joshua.

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