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Joshua fight to clash with Fury bout

By Declan Warrington

Published 11/04/2016

Just champion: Anthony Joshua set to defend title
Just champion: Anthony Joshua set to defend title

Promoters Matchroom plan to stage the first defence of Anthony Joshua's reign as IBF heavyweight champion at Wembley Stadium on July 9 - the same night Tyson Fury is scheduled to fight Wladimir Klitschko.

The 26-year-old clinically stopped defending champion Charles Martin in the second round at London's 02 Arena on Saturday, just six miles from where he won his Olympic gold medal at the 2012 Games.

His emergence as a world champion leaves him well placed to become one of Britain's most popular sporting figures.

There is a danger, however, that his first title defence could be overshadowed by WBA and WBO champion Fury's rematch with Klitschko.

Joshua's challenger will almost certainly not be as decorated or seasoned as Klitschko and the weekend of July 9 and 10 is already packed with top-level sport, with the Wimbledon singles finals, the Euro 2016 final, the British Formula One Grand Prix and the UFC 200 rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz all taking place over those two days.

"July, it was always going to be the ninth," said Eddie Hearn, when asked of his plans for Joshua's first title defence.

Though he showed no apparent vulnerability to fighting a southpaw for the first time in his professional career - Saturday's fight was only Joshua's 16th bout in the paid ranks - the swift and destructive nature of the finish meant he was unable to demonstrate if he had learned from the mistakes made in his previous fight with Dillian Whyte.

Belfast Telegraph

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