Alexander Povetkin appears to have distanced himself from a fight against Dillian Whyte after announcing he only wants to challenge Anthony Joshua.
The Russian heavyweight received a verbal challenge from Whyte at ringside after his fifth-round knockout of David Price at the Principality Stadium.
But Povetkin’s explosive victory cemented his status as the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s WBA ‘super’ title and his sole focus is receiving a shot at the British star, who also holds the WBO and IBF belts following his points win over Joseph Parker in the bill-topping unification clash in Cardiff.
“I’m the mandatory challenger for Joshua,” Povetkin told his promotional team, World of Boxing.
“I look forward to the moment when I can compete against the best in the world. Anthony has four belts. I want this fight and I don’t even think about fighting someone else.”
World of Boxing, founded by Andrey Ryabinsky, will attempt to lure Joshua to Russia, with the 81,000-seater Luzhniki Stadium mentioned as a possible location for the fight.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn admitted the Povetkin fight will be ordered this year, although he hopes to stage the bout in Britain.
Negotiations have begun for a blockbuster battle with WBC champion Deontay Wilder, but Hearn has warned how Joshua could risk losing one of his belts if he does not fulfil commitments to the various governing bodies.
He told Sky Sports: “I will say it once again, the window for fighting Wilder is 2018, otherwise we will risk it not being an undisputed fight.”