Povetkin’s promoter says discussions have started for Anthony Joshua fight
By Scott Gilfoid: WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin’s Russian promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy states that negotiations have started for a fight against WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua for a fight that could take place in UK, USA or Russia.
The World Boxing Association has given a deadline of May 6 for the negotiations to be completed before they schedule a purse bid. It would bad news for Joshua and his promoter if it goes to a purse bid, as Ryabinskiy would have a good chance of winning the bid. If Team Povetkin win the purse bid, then they could stage the fight in Russia in Moscow or in the U.S, although I doubt they would choose to take the fight to the States. It’s better to place it in Russia. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is going to have to do his best to try and get the fight with Povetkin negotiated before May 6th so that he can avert a purse bid.
“We have started discussing the fight. [Joshua’s promoter] Eddie Hearn is a very respectable promoter, we consider him our partner, and we hope that we can have a pleasant and efficient negotiations process,” Ryabinskiy said to skysports.com.
Ryabinskiy is the promoter for World of Boxing, and there’s a strong possibility he could stage the Povetkin vs. Joshua fight at the huge 81,000 seat Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow in the summer if he wins a purse bid. Ideally, Hearn will agree to stage the Joshua-Povetkin fight in Moscow to take advantage of the huge crowd that would show up to see the fight. Joshua vs. Povetkin would bring in a lot of boxing fans if they were to stage it in the UK at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, but after the way AJ’s fight turned out against Joseph Parker, it might be better to have the fight take place in Russia.
The Joshua-Parker fight was a very, very strange one in which the referee kept pulling the two fighters apart when Parker was trying to fight on the inside. Parker literally was unable to fight in close due to the referee pulling him off of Joshua. With Parker’s shorter reach, he was unable to land his shots on the outside. He couldn’t get near Joshua without the referee stepping in and pulling the two fighters apart.
If that’s the kind of thing that Povetkin would have to deal with in going back to the UK, then it’s important that the fight be staged in a neutral country or Russia, because there needs to be a quality referee working the Joshua-Povetkin fight for it to be a fair one.
In Joshua’s previous title defense against Carlos Takam, the referee Phil Edwards stopped the fight quickly in the 10th round after Takam had been slightly buzzed by several shots. Takam looked fine and was still trying to fight back at the time the fight was stopped. It was a very controversial stoppage. For Povetkin, his promoter Ryabinskiy might want to think about having the fight staged elsewhere. The last thing Povetkin needs is for the Joshua fight to be stopped suddenly by an overzealous referee or having a referee prevent inside fighting. Povetkin is only 6’2”. So if he has a referee that doesn’t allow him to fight on the inside against Joshua, then he has no chance of winning the fight.
“We are happy to make the fight in England as both fighters have a lot of fans in England, there are many Russians that live in England and many who will come to England for the fight,” Ryabinskiy said.
Ryabinkskiy has a refreshing attitude about the Joshua vs. Povetkin fight. Instead of insisting on the fight being made in Russia, Ryabinskiy is open-minded about the location of the fight, even though it would likely be better for Povetkin if it took place in front of his own fans.
Hopefully, Joshua doesn’t vacate his WBA title if Hearn is unable to negotiate the fight with Povetkin, because I don’t believe for a second that they’re going to win a purse bid.
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