World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is close to a deal to fight Alexander Povetkin – either before or after a bout with Deontay Wilder.
Joshua, 28, holds the WBA, IBF and WBO titles, with Povetkin in a mandatory challenger position for the WBA belt.
But talks continue for the Briton to face WBC title holder Deontay Wilder with all four titles on the line.
“We have to move because the WBA want to know what’s happening,” said Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.
Hearn says he is hoping for clarity on a Joshua-Wilder fight “this week” and the WBA would be likely to sanction the contest as long as Russian Povetkin, 38, was able to face the winner.
“We pretty much have a deal in place with Povetkin,” Hearn told Fighthype.com. “At the moment it looks like we are fighting him but that could change.
“At the moment the two options we have are we either sign for Wilder now to fight him next or we sign for Wilder now but fight him after Povetkin.
“So what fans need to know is they are getting the fight – it’s just a case of whether it’s September-October or December-February.”
No heavyweight has ever held all four recognised world titles, meaning any Joshua-Wilder bout would be a likely box office hit regardless of which side of the Atlantic Ocean it was staged.
Hearn feels the location of the bout is now one of the main stumbling blocks, with Joshua and his trainer Rob McCracken intent on fighting in the UK.