Anthony Joshua set to face Alexander Povetkin in September, putting Deontay Wilder bout on hold

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer | ESPN

After Deontay Wilder retained his heavyweight world title by brutal 10th-round knockout of Luis Ortiz in a fight of the year contender on March 3, he again called for a unification bout with Anthony Joshua.

Four weeks later, Joshua unified three of the four major belts by decision against Joseph Parker and said in the ring he wanted Wilder next for the undisputed world title.

Their showdown looms as easily the biggest heavyweight fight in years, and it is, along with the Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez middleweight title rematch, the biggest fight boxing has to offer. But after months of talks between the camps for a fall fight, not to mention bickering over myriad issues — some big, some small — the fight has been pronounced dead for 2018.

Golovkin-Alvarez II, contentious as the negotiations were, was finalized. Not so for Joshua-Wilder.

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