As previously reported on BoxingScene.com, promoter Eddie Hearn has a three fight plan in 2018 for IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs).
The first fight of that plan will take place on March 31, when Joshua will unify with WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
The third fight of the plan would be a full division unification with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder at the end of the year.
The second fight in the middle would likely be a WBA mandatory defense against Alexander Povetkin of Russia.
Povetkin became the mandatory challenger in December with a one-sided decision victory over Christian Hammer in a final eliminator.
Hearn is already setting the stage for that fight, as he offered Povetkin a spot on the Joshua-Parker undercard in March.
And, Olympic bronze medal winner David Price has claimed that he already accepted an offer to fight Povetkin on that card.
Hearn expects the World Boxing Association to order Joshua-Povetkin in the summer.
There have already been discussions between Hearn and Povetkin's promoter, Andrey Ryabinsky of World of Boxing - and both sides have already agreed on staging the contest on UK soil.
"[The WBA are likely] to call it in the summer, so maybe [fight in] December," Hearn told Sky Sports.
"Financially, [Povetkin's promoters] have stated that they would rather come to the UK. We won't be going to Russia. At some point in 2018, it is likely [Joshua] will have to fight Povetkin. We'll see when."
Povetkin has been undefeated since suffering his first career defeat at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko in 2013. The Olympic gold medal winner and former WBA "regular" heavyweight champion had his fair share of drug testing issues in 2016, when he tested positive twice for banned substances - which led to fights with Wilder and Bermane Stiverne getting canceled. Povetkin has paid a hefty fine to the WBC and recently finished up his suspension.