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10th Jun 2018

Frank Warren confirms Anthony Joshua’s next fight before Eddie Hearn

It's not Deontay Wilder after all

Darragh Murphy

The boxing community is a tight-knit one and news spreads fast.

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn is expected to confirm Anthony Joshua’s next fight in the coming 48 hours but it would seem like rival promoter Frank Warren has beat him to the punch.

Negotiations have been underway for months to have Joshua fight WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in a monster unification clash but, apparently, those discussions hit a snag and ‘AJ’ vs. Wilder won’t be taking place next.

BoxNation founder Warren, speaking after Tyson Fury’s comeback victory in the Manchester Arena on Saturday night, seemingly revealed that both Joshua and Wilder had opted to go down the routes of mandatory defences rather than unification.

“I think Anthony Joshua is fighting Alexander Povetkin in September, so he will not fight until next year now and I think Wilder has got a mandatory. In the meantime, we have to get Tyson more competitive fights,” Warren said in the post-fight press conference.

It wasn’t the first time that evening that Warren had claimed Joshua would take on mandatory WBA challenger Povetkin in a fight which expected to take place at either Wembley, Twickenham or Old Trafford.

In the ring immediately after Fury forced Sefer Seferi to quit on the stool after the fourth round, Warren claimed Joshua vs. Povetkin was “an open secret in boxing.”

Hearn has previously hinted that the Povetkin fight had suddenly become more likely for Joshua than the Wilder one and while we have yet to receive confirmation, Warren certainly sounded confident that it was a done deal.

Speaking of the potential Povetkin bout, Hearn said: “I think it’s an incredibly risky fight. It might be a little bit of a mad fight to take before Wilder, but that’s Joshua. He doesn’t care, he wants a challenge. He doesn’t want to fight easier fighters.”