Anthony Joshua is returning to Wembley. The unified WBA/WBO/IBF champion will make the sixth defense of his titles when he faces Alexander Povetkin on September 22.
The fight marks Joshua’s first bout at Wembley since his 2017 Fight of the Year victory over Wladimir Klitschko.
Joshua’s last victory was a tactical unanimous decision over Joseph Parker to capture the WBO heavyweight title. Povetkin competed on the undercard and delivered a Knockout of the Year candidate with a left hook stoppage of David Price.
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring – the end of March feels a long time ago now,” Joshua told the BBC. “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.”
This will be Povetkin’s second world title shot, having dropped an unanimous decision to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013. Since then, Povetkin is on an eight-fight win streak with knockout wins over Mike Perez (TKO1), Carlos Takam (KO10) and Mariusz Wach (TKO12). He is the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s WBA title.
Ticket prices are expected to be announced in the next two weeks.
Count me as one of the people who didn’t delude themselves into thinking Joshua-Wilder was getting made this year. Outside of that, this is the best heavyweight fight Joshua could make.
Povetkin is very dangerous when he gets inside. Problem is, I don’t see the Russian being able to consistently work there due to Joshua’s thudding jab and improved footwork. More often than not, Povetkin will be caught in mid-range where Joshua’s massive right hand will be waiting.
In the meantime, Wilder can get his own WBC mandatory out of the way this fall against Dominic Breazeale. I fully expect both champions to get knockout wins and bring the anticipation to a fever pitch for the biggest and most historic fight for 2019.