Deontay Wilder
via Instagram / Deontay Wilder

Despite Deontay Wilder saying he had accepted an offer to fight Anthony Joshua earlier this month, the fight is on hold.

Apparently, Joshua’s team is instead opting to finalize a fight between him and Alexander Povetkin, one of his mandatory challengers.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn tells ESPN that Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel failed to return the contract they sent last week, so the WBA orderedJoshua-Povetkin.

“We’re fighting Povetkin in September and we’re looking at multiple venues and dates,” Hearn said. “We have a deal with Povetkin agreed to, but it’s not signed yet.”

The fight is tentatively set to take place Sept. 22 or Sept. 29 at one of London’s major stadiums, Wembley, Twickenham or London Olympic Stadium.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday night (June 27), Wilder called out Joshua, calling him a “coward”.

“I’m sorry guys, they played us all,” Wilder (40-0, 39 knockouts) wrote. “I tried to give you guys the biggest fight of your lives, the most exciting fight in history. The first undisputed, undefeated, unified heavyweight champion of the world since [Lennox] Lewis”.

“Had the world waiting for 3 months playing games just for this moment. You’re not a true champion‼ you’re just a weak minded coward that’s holding hard metal,” he added.

While the Wilder-Joshua fight is on hold, Hearn said they are discussing plans for a fight in 2019. He told the BBC that Wilder has been offered a contract to fight at Wembley on 13 April and all he needs to do now is sign it.