16th of July 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
British boxer Anthony Joshua has decided to defend his world heavyweight titles against Russian Alexander Povetkin in a fight that will take place in Wembley Stadium in London on 22 September. The 28-year-old managed to unify the WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight titles in March when he defeated New Zealander Joseph Parker in Cardiff. Joshua is unbeaten in 21 professional bouts, while 38-year-old Povetkin is an experienced fighter that had held the WBA world title between 2011 and 2013. Povetkin was in Cardiff when Joshua got his titles, he fought against David Price and managed to knock him out.
The Russian fighter has lost just one of his bouts since having turned professional back in 2005, that defeat was against Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in Moscow in 2013. Povetkin has won the Olympic gold medal as an amateur in Athens in 2004, while Anthony Joshua got his gold medal in London in 2012. "I can't wait to get back in the ring - the end of March feels a long time ago now," said Joshua. "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."
"Anthony Joshua has four belts and I want them all," Povetkin replied. The Russian has been a controversial figure lately as he was banned from the sport in March 2017 after having failed two drug tests in a year, but after nine months he was cleared to fight again. Anthony Joshua did not pick Povetkin as an opponent for this fight, he had to take him on as the Russian was the mandatory challenger for the WBA title. However, if Joshua wins this fight, he will have greater freedom in picking his next challenger. WBC champion Deontay Wilder wanted to fight Joshua in the United States and if that bout will happen then Joshua could become the first heavyweight to hold all four titles at the same time.
Antony Joshua is 1/16 at Bet365 to win the bout on September 22, while Alexandr Povetkin is 8/1 to win it.
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