Eddie Hearn, promoter for IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs), is very nervous about his fighter's upcoming bout with Alexander Povetkin.
According to Hearn, he was motivated to finalize a deal between his man and WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs).
Their discussions dragged on for months, so the World Boxing Association finally came down and ordered Joshua to make his mandatory defense against Povetkin.
Hearn views Povetkin as a very live dog in the fight.
Povetkin, like Joshua, is an Olympic gold medal winner. He is also a former WBA world champion - and his only career defeat was a decision loss to Wladimir Klitschko from 2013.
In his last fight, Povetkin blasted out Olympic bronze medal winner David Price in five rounds back in March.
Because of the danger involved, Hearn says the contest is very risky - as an upset loss would derail any possibility of a potential mega-fight with Wilder in April 2019.
“I said to Joshua, you shouldn’t be taking this fight. But because of the relationship between the WBA and World of Boxing [Povetkin’s promoter]," Hearn told Boxing News.
“Also us and the WBA, we’ve both got very strong relationships, the WBA are a little bit torn. They want Povetkin to get his shot as mandatory. Also they are very happy to have Joshua as the reigning world champion. So Gilberto Mendoza [WBA president] wants this fight. Joshua thinks it’s a very good fight for him to learn.
“So he’s going to fight Povektin. So it is madness to take this fight when you’ve got the potential of the Wilder fight. But what can you do? He’s at a stage now where he’s having stadium fights in front of 90,000 people. He wants to take care of his mandatories. A lot of what he wants to do is based around what [Wladimir] Klitschko done in terms of his domination.”