By Rick Reeno has been advised by well informed sources that the World Boxing Association is pushing hard for Wladimir Klitschko (59-3, 50KOs) to defend his heavyweight crown against mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin (25-0, 17KOs).

The sanctioning body notified both sides, by letter, that Wladimir must defend his title against Povetkin by February 26th.

Klitschko was made the WBA's "super champion" a few years ago. The belt became vacant after Klitschko defeated then "regular" champion David Haye last July. Povetkin captured the vacant "regular" title" with a twelve round decision victory over Ruslan Chagaev last August.

The WBA already started a 30 day negotiations period earlier this week. Both sides have until January 17 to reach an agreement or a purse bid will be called. It appears the WBA is going to make it very difficult for Wladimir to receive a special permit to postpone the mandatory obligation, as Wladimir made a voluntary defense against Mariusz Wach last month.