Although it seemed like Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) was headed towards a massive title unification fight against Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs), that fight has apparently fallen apart.

According to ESPN, the WBA informed their Heavyweight champion, Joshua on Tuesday that he must face perennial cheater, Alexander Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs) with immediate effect.

The decision comes after the WBA had granted Joshua an extra month to continue talks with Povetkin and Wilder.

“Today the WBA requested an answer from Anthony Joshua’s team regarding his fight with the mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin,” said WBA president Gilberto Mendoza in a statement.

After tons of social media posts and back-and-forth arguing from both sides, promoter Eddie Hearn now seems focused on getting his fighter, Joshua in against mandatory challenger Povetkin next.

“The WBA have allowed over a month extension to negotiations with Povetkin and also ongoing discussions with Deontay Wilder,” said Mendoza. “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.”

But Wilder tells a different story.

With the way things have gone for Povetkin in big fights he’ll probably get popped for some hard-to-pronounce banned substance and then Wilder and Hearn can argue for another three months via social media.

As of now, it looks like the WBC titleholder will have to wait until 2019 to get a crack at Joshua.

Header photo by Esther Lin/Showtime

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