Russian heavyweight Alexander Povetkin has earned the right to fight either Joseph Parker or Anthony Joshua in a mandatory challenge after beating Christian Hammer at the weekend.

Povetkin, who has a history of failed drugs tests, comfortably outpointed the Germany-based Romanian Hammer in Russia.

The fight was a final eliminator for both the WBO and WBA titles. Parker holds the WBO version of the title and Joshua the WBA belt - but a unification belt takes precedence over a mandatory which means Povetkin will have to bide his time.

The Parker v Joshua fight is yet to be officially confirmed, but is likely to be held in the United Kingdom in late March. There is understood to be a re-match clause in the contract, plus American Deontay Wilder, the WBC title holder, is in the frame.


Povetkin was part of the conversation before the Joshua fight was deemed a priority by Parker's promoter David Higgins, and Parker is likely to have to travel to Russia for it.

If neither Higgins nor Povetkin's promoters agree terms it is likely to go to a purse bid and Povetkin has powerful and wealthy backers.