By Igor Lazorin, tass
Olympic gold medal winner Alexander Povetkin of Russia is expecting to fight WBA, IBO, WBO, IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua for the world titles in the fall.
Povetkin is the mandatory challenger under the World Boxing Association.
A few weeks ago, the WBA ordered the two sides to negotiate and gave the teams 30 days to reach an agreement or a purse bid would be ordered.
The two sides are currently negotiating the terms and they are reportedly very close to reaching a deal that satisfies both sides.
Joshua is expected to return to the ring on a date in September, in the UK.
Povetkin was already being pushed as Joshua's likely opponent back in March - when the former world champion was booked for the undercard of Joshua's unification with Joseph Parker at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Povetkin made a statement when he scored a brutal knockout of Olympic bronze medal winner David Price in the co-featured attraction.
Joshua is also currently in talks with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder - hoping to get a deal done for a unification in the fall.
The fight appears to be unlikely, as Wilder offered a guarantee of $50 million for Joshua to take the fight in the United States - and Joshua is willing to take less because he wants the contest to take place in the UK.
Povetkin is paying no attention to the Wilder negotiations - because he expects to be next.
"I became the mandatory challenger for the title of world champion, and therefore there must be a fight with Anthony Joshua. When and where it takes place.. that is still unknown, it all depends on the promoters. Most likely, the fight will be held in England on a date in the fall," Povetkin said.
Joshua has an impressive undefeated record with 21 victories (20 by knockout). On the other end, Povetkin had 34 wins (24 by knockout) and one defeat.