Prove you are the best - Povetkin promoter lays down Joshua gauntlet

23 April 2018 11:20

Alexander Povetkin's promoter has challenged Anthony Joshua to "prove he is the best" and face the Russian WBA mandatory challenger.

Joshua holds the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight belts, winning the latter in a unanimous decision over Joseph Parker last month.

Povetkin fought on the undercard for that bout, scoring a brutal knockout over David Price, and is in position to challenge for the belt he lost in a defeat to Wladimir Klitschko in October 2013.

A unification bout with WBC champion Deontay Wilder appears to be Joshua's priority, and an agreement between the camps of the two undefeated knockout merchants would scupper Povetkin's hopes.

But Povetkin's promoter Andrey Ryabinsky told Sky Sports: "I believe that Joshua will follow and cooperate with the rules of the sanctioning bodies for the titles that he holds.

"I think every fighter has to fight the best to prove that he is the best. I see no reason why Joshua would not want to fight Povetkin as his next opponent."

Ryabinsky would ideally like a prospective bout with Joshua to be held at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow but would have no problem with it being staged on British soil or in the United States.

"We are happy to make the fight in England as both fighters have a lot of fans in England, there are many Russians that live in England and many who will come to England for the fight," he added.

"Yes, of course, it is possible [to fight Joshua in Russia]. [The Luzhniki Stadium] has been recently renovated, it's a legendary stadium, it has the capacity for a fight of this magnitude.

"Doing the fight in the USA is also an option.

"We have started discussing the fight. [Joshua's promoter] Eddie Hearn is a very respectable promoter, we consider him our partner, and we hope that we can have a pleasant and efficient negotiations process.

"I believe that Povetkin is one of the best heavyweights in the world today. Joshua vs Povetkin being one of the most competitive fights in this division - it has to happen."

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