Britain’s boxing superstar will aim to extend his professional record to 22 wins
Anthony Joshua will fight Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium on September 22, it has been confirmed.
The Briton will defend his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles against the Russian as he returns to the scene of his greatest career triumph.
Joshua stopped Wladimir Klitschko in front of a post-war attendance record of 90,000 at Wembley in an epic encounter in April 2017.
He signed a two-fight deal to return to the national stadium earlier this month, and the first of those bouts will be against Povetkin, the mandatory challenger to his WBA title.
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, announced terms had been finalised with Povetkin’s camp on Monday.
September’s bout will represent Joshua’s 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.
Povetkin, who is ten years Joshua’s senior, has previously fought for all three titles, experiencing his only defeat when being outpointed by Klitschko in October 2013.
Joshua said: “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.
Joshua had been in training while negotiations with WBC champion Deontay Wilder stalled, but could yet fight the American in April 2019.