Anthony Joshua could be made to wait for a Deontay Wilder fight after the WBA ordered him to sign for a mandatory title defence against Alexander Povetkin “within 24 hours”.

WBC champion Wilder has yet to return a contract for a massive unification fight with Joshua for all the world heavyweight belts and the WBA have grown impatient with the drawn-out negotiations, ordering the British star to instead fulfil his title obligations to Povetkin.

WBA president Gilberto Mendoza had granted Joshua an extra month to continue talks for a fight with Wilder, but with a deal yet to be agreed, he has called on AJ to finalise a bout with mandatory challenger Povetkin.

Gilberto Mendoza said: “Today the WBA requested an answer from Anthony Joshua’s team regarding his fight with the mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin.