Hearn: Joshua is fighting Povetkin, Putin and the whole of Russia

Promoter says President Putin is fully behind the Russian fighter’s bid to win the heavyweight titles

Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin boxing Wembley Eddie Hearn
British heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn
(Image credit: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images )

Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin

  • What: heavyweight boxing title fight
  • Where: Wembley Stadium, London
  • When: Saturday 22 September
  • TV channel: live on Sky Sports Box Office

Anthony Joshua won’t just be facing Alexander Povetkin at Wembley on Saturday night he will be up against a fighter who has Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin and a whole nation in his corner.

British-Russian political relations are currently “at their most tense since the Cold War”, says the Daily Mirror, and promoter Eddie Hearn believes President Putin will be willing Povetkin on to “score a big propaganda victory for his country”.

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Joshua puts his WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles on the line against Povetkin and Hearn said of the Russian: “He’s got not just his team, but the country, and dare I say the government, behind him.

“They’re all involved. This is like a mission for them to beat Britain and for a Russian to become the world heavyweight champion.

“He and his team know how important this is for them and for Povetkin nationally. This is not just about him personally winning a title, this is a major, major thing if Povetkin could stick one on a Brit. Wouldn’t it be really sweet for them?”

Povetkin’s manager Vadim Kornilov confirmed that the president will be supporting the Russian’s bid to win the heavyweight contest.

Quoted by The Daily Telegraph, Kornilov said: “The president [Vladimir Putin] has not yet been to his fights but he is definitely a big sports fan. He is also a fan of Alexander and he helps with many things.”

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