By Keith Idec
If Anthony Joshua had a choice, one of Alexander Povetkin’s promoters is certain he wouldn’t have picked Povetkin as his next opponent.
That’s the message Vadim Kornilov delivered during a press conference Wednesday in London to promote their September 22 bout at Wembley Stadium. Povetkin is the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s WBA heavyweight title.
“We all know that if, at the end of the day, Anthony Joshua had a choice, he would probably not choose Povetkin for this fight,” said Kornilov, who works for Andrey Ryabinskiy’s World of Boxing. “Maybe if Alexander Povetkin had a choice, he would probably, maybe choose another opponent. But that’s what makes this fight very interesting. I think, you know, it’s probably the two best guys, maybe pound-for-pound, meeting each other in the ring. And I think all the attention is gonna be there fight night.”
The WBA ordered the bout between England’s Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) and Russia’s Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs) last month once negotiations between Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, and representatives for WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) hadn’t resulted in a deal for their much-discussed heavyweight title unification fight.
Povetkin, a former WBA champ, will turn 39 before he enters the ring to challenge Joshua.
He has lost only a 12-round unanimous decision to former champ Wladimir Klitschko in October 2013 in Moscow. The 28-year-old Joshua stopped the since-retired Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs) in the 11th round of their unforgettable unification fight in April 2017 at Wembley Stadium.
“You know, yesterday [Jarrell] Miller tried to steal the show at the press conference in New York,” Kornilov said, referring to Joshua’s confrontation with Miller at DAZN’s press conference Tuesday. “We all understand it’s just a lot of PR that these guys are trying to get to attract attention for themselves. At the end of the day, most of these guys that are talking don’t even wanna be in the ring with either of these guys. And both of these guys are the type of guys that love a challenge. You know, as Anthony said, he knows what he’s in for. So does Alexander. But they both love a challenge, they love boxing and they wanna prove themselves.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.