News | Aug 03 2018

No substitute for Alexander Povektin in Anthony Joshua fight

There is no plan B for Anthony Joshua in Alexander Povetkin title defence at Wembley, discovers Matt Christie
Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin
Anthony Joshua & Alexander Povetkin Press Conference  |  Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

ALEXANDER POVETKIN failed two drug tests as recently as 2016, leaving first Bermane Stiverne and then Deontay Wilder without an opponent. On September 22, the Russian is scheduled to challenge Anthony Joshua for the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles at Wembley Stadium in a showdown that could break numerous records.

But even Joshua can’t sell out a stadium on his own. However, the show’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has no concern whatsoever that Povetkin will fail another test. So little concern, in fact, that there is no replacement lined up for Povetkin if it turns out he can’t fight.

Povetkin’s high ranking with each of the major sanctioning bodies has rightly angered fans who don’t believe the 38-year-old should be allowed to earn so handsomely so soon – if at all – after testing positive for banned substances.