By Steve Kim
At this point, it appears to be a certainty that unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) will be facing his WBA mandatory, Alexander Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs), in his next bout.
Povetkin's promotional representative, Vadim Kornilov told BoxingScene.com on Monday afternoon - "World of Boxing and Matchroom (Sports) is finalizing the deal now. In the next couple of days there should be more information but the fight is close to being made."
The two boxers were in action on the same card back in March, when Joshua won a twelve round decision over Joseph Parker to unify the WBO, WBA, IBF, IBO world titles, and Povetkin appeared on the undercard to score a brutal fifth round knockout over Olympic bronze medal winner David Price.
September 22nd is the rumored date for this match-up for Joshua vs. Povetkin.
"That's what it sounds like,yes," confirmed Kornilov, while he was at the Legendz Gym in Norwalk, California, where he was watching another one of his clients train, WBA light heavyweight belt-holder, Dmitry Bivol.
As for where this battle would take place, Kornilov stated - "We haven't had a confirmation but there's still discussions on whether the fight will be in Russia or over there (in the UK) but the date is set. That's being finalized."
For Povetkin, this will be his long-awaited title shot. He was scheduled to fight WBC champion Deontay Wilder back in May of 2016, but the contest fell apart when the Russian boxer tested positive for a performance enhancing drug.
"He's been wanting the fight, he want's that fight and second to that he wants a world title fight," said Kornilov. "He wants to get a championship fight again, no matter what happens he's always said, 'If not Joshua, then I'll fight somebody else for the title.'"
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.