Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s next fight won’t be against WBC champion Deontay Wilder. Instead, Joshua will defend his titles next against Alexander Povetkin on September 22nd at Wembley Stadium in London.
For the past few months, Wilder and Joshua were seemingly engaged in talks to unify the titles. However, the negotiations became increasingly contentious and eventually fell apart.
Joshua will return to the scene where he faced Wladimir Klitschko and claimed the WBA title in an all-action fight. Povetkin also faced Klitschko but was on the wrong side of a unanimous decision loss back in 2013.
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring, the end of March feels a long time ago now,” said Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs), who went to the distance for the first time in his professional career in his last fight against Joseph Parker. “Povetkin is a serious challenge that I will prepare meticulously for. He has serious pedigree and only a fool would underestimate what he brings to the table.”
“The battle for the World title has always been my goal,” said Povetkin. “I fought for the moment to face the strongest in the World, and on September 22 I get my opportunity. Anthony Joshua has four belts and I want them all. I’m glad that our fight will finally take place, the meeting of two Olympic champions in the ring is destined to be a breath-taking event.”
Should Joshua get past Povetkin, there is an April 13, 2019 date reserved for Joshua to return to Wembley Stadium where many expect him to face Wilder.