LONDON - Britain's Anthony Joshua will defend his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles against Russian Alexander Povetkin at Wembley on September 22, Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn announced on Monday.
The 28-year-old Joshua takes on his WBA mandatory challenger Povetkin as he returns to Wembley for the first time since his victory over Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 fans in April, 2017. Joshua's last two world title bouts had been at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, where he overcame Carlos Takam before adding the WBO belt in a points win over New Zealander Joseph Parker in March.
"I can't wait to get back in the ring. The end of March feels a long time ago now," Joshua, who boasts an unbeaten 21-0 record, told British media. "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. Training hasn't stopped for me, but the next 10 weeks ahead will be intense both mentally and physically. I will push myself to breaking point to make sure I am in peak condition for another huge night for British boxing at Wembley Stadium."
Povetkin, who knocked out David Price on the Joshua-Parke undercard, expects a memorable fight with a fellow Olympic medallist. "The battle for the World title has always been my goal," Povetkin said. "I fought for the moment to face the strongest in the World and on Sept. 22 I get my opportunity."
The 38-year-old Russian has suffered one defeat since his professional debut in 2005, losing to Klitschko in Moscow in 2013.