The Russian is now being counted as two of AJ’s mandatories
Anthony Joshua will now get two of his mandatory challengers out of the way when he faces Alexander Povetkin.
The fight, which will be live on talkSPORT on September 22, was originally ordered by the WBA and so had happen as a result of their sanction.
However, now the WBO have told talkSPORT.com that, as Povetkin is #1 in their rankings too, the bout also counts as their mandatory defence.
The news comes after yesterday’s revelation that Oleksandr Usyk had been named ‘Super Champion’ by the WBO at cruiserweight.
This meant that Usyk could request to become Joshua’s next mandatory challenger, should he choose to move up to heavyweight after winning the undisputed cruiserweight title last month.
However, this has all now been squashed as Povetkin has been installed in that position.
A WBO representative also explained exclusively to talkSPORT.com that, like Usyk at cruiserweight, Anthony Joshua will become WBO ‘Super Champion’ at heavyweight.
This means that, after Alexander Povetkin, AJ will not need to face another mandatory challenger until March 2020.
“Anthony Joshua is the WBO ‘Super Champion’ in the heavyweight division and will make his mandatory defence when he faces Alexander Povetkin on September 22,” revealed the WBO rep.
“Joshua has 18 months before he has to make his next mandatory defence.”
In the event that Oleksandr Usyk were to move up to heavyweight in that interim period, which is considered very likely, he would still have to wait until 2020 for his mandatory crack at Joshua, unless the Brit decides otherwise.
The WBO spokesperson continued: “If he requests it, Usyk would become the mandatory challenger. But if Joshua defeats current mandatory Povetkin, he would have 18 months before he has to make another mandatory defence.
“He could choose to wait the full 18 months before making his next mandatory defence.”