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Joshua one step closer to Klitschko fight after WBA nod

By Robert Jones

Published 03/11/2016

IBF world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua
IBF world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua has been cleared to fight Wladimir Klitschko for the vacant WBA heavyweight title next year. British fighter Joshua, who claimed the IBF World heavyweight title in April, will have to beat American Eric Molina in Manchester on December 10 for the Klitschko clash to go ahead.

A prospective December bout against the Ukrainian was scuppered by a combination of boxing politics and a minor injury sustained by Klitschko.

Confusion over whether the WBA title, vacated by Tyson Fury in October, would be on the line was one of the reasons a fight between the duo was originally put on the back burner.

But with the WBA now officially sanctioning the clash, Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed he is now hard at work on securing a date.

"It's been an arduous wait to gain official approval but we were delighted to receive the news that the WBA will officially sanction the fight," Hearn said.

"We will now move forward with (Klitschko's manager) Bernd Boente and Team Klitschko in planning the date and venue knowing that victory against Eric Molina in Manchester on December 10 is more important than ever."

Matchroom said the fight would be staged in "Spring 2017".

Klitschko lost the WBA belt to Tyson Fury last November, along with the IBF title.

The latter sanctioning body insisted on a rematch, leading Fury to vacate that belt which was later won by Joshua.

Joshua said of the announcement of the Molina fight: "I am pleased that everything is now set and I can concentrate on getting the business done."

Belfast Telegraph

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