Eddie Hearn has set a two-week time frame for wrapping up negotiations on Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight unification with Deontay Wilder – and is expected to switch focus to Alexander Povetkin if the American refuses to fight in Britain.
WBC champion Wilder has offered Joshua £37million to fight in the US, but the WBA, IBF and WBO holder is holding firm for home advantage, with a September date at Wembley, Old Trafford, Twickenham, Cardiff’s Principality Stadium or the London Stadium all under discussion.
Russia’s Povetkin, the WBA mandatory challenger, is set to be Joshua’s next opponent if the protracted negotiations with Wilder fall through.
Joshua’s promoter Hearn told Sportsmail: ‘We are probably about two weeks away from a decision on AJ’s next fight. September has been earmarked for his return and all focus remains on Deontay Wilder.
‘AJ and the team believe that after everything that’s been built here, the UK should be the home of this historic undisputed bout and conversations continue with the Wilder camp.
‘Povetkin is the likely choice if Wilder refuses to travel. Povetkin is the WBA mandatory so both fights are extremely dangerous.’ A Wilder fight in the US stands as Joshua’s most lucrative option, but he is willing to accept a lesser payday for home advantage.