AJ to face Alexander Povetkin
Britain’s Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is set to fight Alexander Povetkin at Wembley. Undefeated Joshua faces a tough challenge against the Russian who has only lost one fight in his long career.
After months of speculation, the next opponent for Anthony Joshua has been confirmed as Russian Alexander Povetkin.
Povetkin was the WBA’s mandatory challenger after talks broke down between WBC champion Deontay Wilde and Anthony Joshua. This is the match-up that boxing fans want to see as it will unify all the heavyweight division titles, a feat not achieved since Lennox Lewis.
Although Joshua is unbeaten in the 21 professional fights he has fought in, his last fight against Joseph Parker went the distance, the first time the Watford born player has failed to KO an opponent.
Povetkin is likely to prove a stern test for the Brit. In his last fight on the undercard of the Joshua-Parker fight the Russian brutally dispatched highly fancied David Price with a display of awesome punching power.
The 38-year-old has had 34 fights with just the one defeat, with the one blemish on an otherwise perfect record coming against Wladimir Klitschko in Moscow in 2013. Like Joshua, Povetkin is an Olympic champion, taking super-heavyweight gold at the 2004 Athens games which was two years later than when Joshua claimed his own gold in the 2012 games held in London.
Povetkin is no stranger to controversy. He was banned last year indefinitely after failing his second drug test in a year when traces of the banned muscle-builder ostarine was found in his system, but he was cleared to fight again nine months later.
Joshua was quick to acknowledge the danger the Russian brings, speaking about Povetkin the 28-year-old said:
Povetkin is a serious challenge that I will prepare meticulously for. He has serious pedigree and only a fool would underestimate what he brings to the table.– Anthony Joshua, Boxer
“Big Baby” gate-crashes press conference
In the first face-off between Alexander Povetkin and Anthony Joshua, Jarrell Miller stormed onto the stage and had a feisty encounter with the Brit and the pair had to be separated by security as words were exchanged.
The former kick boxer turned boxing professional is a native of New York where the press conference was taking place and managed to slip by security staff to get onto the stage. Miller, who was wearing sunglasses, started shouting at the IBF, WBA and WBO champion, provoking a reaction from Joshua.
Miller, who is ranked 3rd with the IBF and WBA and like Joshua is unbeaten, was hoping to get under the Brit’s skin in the hope of creating animosity and securing his own fight with the Watford born fighter.
Joshua was fairly dismissive of the incident when interviewed later for Sky Sports News, saying:
People talk about me, then see me face to face, and they still want to talk. I defend my titles in the ring, I’m dedicated, and I just won’t tolerate it outside the ring either. I defend my position. That’s what we do as fighters.– Anthony Joshua, Boxer
The interview quickly turned to the subject of AJ facing Deontay Wilder. The heavyweight admitted that he wanted to take Wilder’s WBC belt and suggested if he beats Povetkin then an undisputed title fight could take place at Wembley next year on April 13th.