Anthony Joshua set to fight Alexander Povetkin at Wembley in September
Negotiations for a unification fight with Deontay Wilder have so far proved unsuccessful.
Anthony Joshua is next week expected to announce he will defend his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles against Russia’s Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium on September 22.
It was revealed on Thursday that he will return to Wembley, where last April he stopped Wladimir Klitschko in front of a post-war attendance record of 90,000, for his next two fights in September and on April 13.
Negotiations for a unification fight with America’s WBC champion Deontay Wilder have so far proved unsuccessful, contributing to Joshua nearing an agreement to fight Povetkin, the mandatory challenger to his WBA title.
⚽ Football's coming home— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) July 5, 2018
🥊 AJ's coming home
September’s bout will represent his first at Wembley since he enjoyed his finest hour against Klitschko, when he dramatically recovered from a heavy knockdown to establish himself as the world’s leading heavyweight.
The 28-year-old has since fought twice at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, defeating Carlos Takam and Joseph Parker, the latter in March, when on the undercard Povetkin stopped David Price.
The 38-year-old Povetkin has previously fought for all three titles, experiencing his only defeat when being outpointed by Klitschko in October 2013.
“I am returning to Wembley after two mega fights in Cardiff,” said Joshua. “I want to thank the supporters from Wales and Great Britain and also the people of London for patiently awaiting my return.
“Being north London born and raised it is in my blood. The opportunity to fight in such an iconic stadium is normally a once-in-a-career opportunity, so to be given the chance to fight there again is amazing. Wembley just added a fourth lion to the den.”
Press Association Sport understands that Manchester United’s Old Trafford had been seriously considered as an alternative venue.
“I don’t think anyone will forget that night of April 29 against Klitschko and we plan to bring two more dramatic events to Wembley Stadium in September and April,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.
“Images from these ‘AJ’ events make our country the envy of the boxing world and long may it continue.”