As BoxingScene.com reported earlier today, unified world champion Anthony Joshua has been told by the World Boxing Association (WBA) to agree terms for a mandatory title defence against Russia's Alexander Povetkin with "immediate effect" or risk losing his WBA title.
Joshua, the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO world heavyweight champion, has been in negotiations for a unification fight against WBC champion Deontay Wilder but the WBA's decision is likely to delay a potential bout between the two heavy hitters.
"Today the WBA requested an answer from Anthony Joshua's team regarding his fight with the mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin," WBA president Gilberto Mendoza was quoted as saying by Sky Spors. "The WBA have allowed over a month extension to negotiations with Povetkin and also ongoing discussions with Deontay Wilder."
"It appears the Wilder team have not returned the contract for the fight and therefore we are requesting a date for the Joshua versus Povetkin fight with immediate effect."
The 28-year-old's promoter, Eddie Hearn, said the team were frustrated that contract talks with Wilder's camp were taking so long, and that Joshua would now turn his attention to fighting Povetkin.
"I think they have just said 'Enough is enough'," Hearn told Sky Sports. "'We need to know what you're doing, you're mandated to fight Alexander Povetkin' -- and I think Povetkin's people are getting extremely restless as well.
"They have been waiting and, to be fair to them, they have been patient, but Mendoza has clearly decided enough is enough and we've got to move."
But Wilder erupted at the news, lashing out at both Joshua and Hearn - claiming that neither was serious about the fight.
"I knew I smelt p*ssy but damn, I didn’t know the odor was that strong you coward ass b*tch. Had the world waiting for 3 months, playing games, just for this moment. You’re not a true champion, you’re just a weak minded coward that’s holding hard metal," Wilder stated.
"All they had to do is say they were scared to fight. Period. But instead they made themselves look like what they are, not stand up guys. I'm so happy it's over now. I've done my part, the world seen that, so stay in England."