By Keith Idec
Assuming a deal is finalized for an Anthony Joshua-Alexander Povetkin fight, it likely would be the first boxing main event offered on the DAZN streaming service in the United States.
BoxingScene.com has learned that Joshua’s mandatory WBA heavyweight title defense versus Povetkin probably will take place September 22. The Joshua-Povetkin venue hasn’t been determined.
Regardless of where it takes place, streaming Joshua’s next fight on DAZN would be a way to entice American boxing fans to subscribe to DAZN prior to its inaugural event.
Promoter Eddie Hearn – whose company, Matchroom Boxing, promotes Joshua – announced his company’s streaming deal with Perform Group’s DAZN last month in New York. The agreement could extend to eight years and reach $1 billion in overall value.
Hearn hasn’t announced how much a monthly subscription to DAZN will cost.
He hasn’t announced the exact date for a potential Joshua-Povetkin fight, either. Thus far, Hearn has stated only that Joshua-Povetkin would be scheduled for some time in September.
A Joshua-Deontay Wilder showdown would be scheduled for an undetermined date in October or November, but it appears unlikely that a heavyweight title unification bout between England’s Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) and Alabama’s Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) will happen next. The WBA ordered Joshua on Tuesday to complete a deal with Povetkin’s handlers for their mandated championship match within 24 hours because Joshua-Wilder negotiations haven’t resulted in an agreement (https://www.boxingscene.com/wba-gives-joshua-24-hours-close-deal-povetkin-fight--129452).
Hearn told Sky Sports on Tuesday that he hasn’t heard back from Wilder’s handlers regarding the contract he sent them June 17. Even if a Joshua-Povetkin fight comes next, Hearn told Sky Sports on Tuesday that he still would hope to have a contract finalized for Joshua-Wilder before Joshua would oppose Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs).
“The Wilder fight may even be signed before we get in the ring with Alexander Povetkin,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “So for Joshua there is massive pressure and like I said, Povetkin has just one defeat – a points loss to Wladimir Klitschko. A very, very tough, experienced man. 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.”
Whenever a Joshua-Povetkin deal materializes, their fight would be broadcast as a pay-per-view main event by Sky Sports Box Office in the United Kingdom and by DAZN in the United States. Each of Joshua’s past six fights have been televised live in the U.S. by Showtime.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.