What is it?
Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin in another huge world heavyweight clash. The Russian is the mandatory challenger to Joshua’s WBA title and the Briton will be defending his WBA Super, IBF, WBO, and IBO belts when the two fighters meet.
When is it?
Saturday, September 22, 2018 – ie this weekend.
Where is it?
Wembley Stadium (London). Joshua last fought at Wembley when stopping Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017.
What TV channel will it be on?
The fight will be shown live on Sky Sports Box Office.
You can find out more about how to book and live stream the fight right here.
For US readers: It will be also aired on the streaming platform DAZ as part of the US debut of the service.
What time is the fight likely to start?
As always, this largely depends on how the fight night is progressing, but expect the ring walk to begin at around 10 pm with the fight starting of afterward
How can I get tickets?
Tickets went on sale in July and are nearly sold out. “There will be 80,000 there on the night,” promote Eddie Hearn said with a week to go. “We had done 70,000 a month ago. It has been slower than Klitschko and (Joseph) Parker.”
Who is Povetkin?
The 38-year-old Povetkin was the WBA champion from 2011 to 2013 and is now the WBA’s mandatory challenger, meaning Joshua has to fight him or face being stripped of his title.
Povetkin knocked out David Price on the Joshua/Joseph Parker undercard in Cardiff and has suffered only one defeat since his professional debut in 2005, losing by unanimous decision to Wladimir Klitschko in Moscow in 2013.
Have they ever met before?
Yes. In fact, it will be a meeting of two former Olympic champions. Povetkin won super-heavyweight gold at the 2004 Athens Games and Joshua the same title at London 2012
What about the Wilder fight?
Fighting Povetkin now means Joshua is likely to have greater freedom in selecting his next opponent – probably Deontay Wilder.
As mentioned earlier, Joshua holds three of the four major world titles – the IBF, WBA, and WBO – with Wilder’s WBC belt the only thing between him being an undisputed heavyweight champion. The most recent boxer to claim that honor was Lennox Lewis in 2000.
Joshua fights Povetkin as a mandatory bout but Wilder is the opponent he wants. However, if Povetkin defeats Joshua, the unification discussion might change. Only time will tell. Both parties say they want it to happen. It’s just not happening this year.
What are they saying?
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring – the end of March feels a long time ago now. Povetkin is a serious challenge that I will prepare meticulously for. He has a serious pedigree and only a fool would underestimate what he brings to the table.
“It’s not the height of the man, it’s the fight of the man. He’s fought people like me all his life. He’s used to tall guys. He knows how to slip and throw punches, so I’ve got to make sure I give him no gaps or openings. It’s not the height that’s the issue – it’s how willing and determined he is.”
“The battle for the World title has always been my goal. I fought for the moment to face the strongest in the world and on September 22 I get my opportunity. Anthony Joshua has four belts and I want them all. I’m glad that our fight will finally take place, the meeting of two Olympic champions in the ring is destined to be a breath-taking event.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn:
“I can’t wait to return to Wembley for what I believe will be one of the biggest tests of AJ’s career. Last time he was there he produced one of the most dramatic fights and endings in the history of the sport and I expect this fight to be full of energy and drama.
“Povetkin is a top-three heavyweight and extremely dangerous but in AJ I see the best heavyweight in the world today and I think we will see a major statement.”
“Most definitely he (Joshua) could have gotten an exemption for this (Povetkin) fight. That was the least of the worries right there because everyone wants it. When everyone wants it, then there’s nothing that could stand in the way of a fight of this magnitude. No possible way.
“Even when he’s announcing Povetkin, they’re talking about me. Everywhere we go, they’re talking about this fight.
“At the end of the day, I and Joshua don’t need each other. Not to survive and live. We’ve been doing that before we even met each other, and we’re going to do that after we’ve met each other.
“But for this fight to happen – for fans to see one of the biggest fights in world history and to see one champion, one face, one name – we definitely need each other.”
What is the latest news?
Anthony Joshua believes his cautious approach against Joseph Parker in his last fight was justified after watching Dillian Whyte struggle against the New Zealander.
Joshua was taken the distance for the first time in his professional career to relieve Parker of the WBO heavyweight title and become a three-belt champion in March in Cardiff.
However, he highlighted Parker’s fight with Whyte in July, in which both fighters were knocked down before the Briton earned a narrow unanimous points win, as proof that his strategy in Cardiff was correct.
“If I didn’t win that Parker fight, I wouldn’t be here now,” Joshua said on Friday. “If I went to try and knock him out, anything could have happened.
“Look at the fight with Dillian and Parker. By an inch, he got that decision, and I don’t want fights like that. I want to win clear and make sure that it sets up bigger and better things.”
Joshua’s three world titles will be up for grabs against mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin on Sept. 22 at Wembley Stadium.
“How I approach this fight is going to be completely different to how I approach the Parker fight because he’s a completely different style of fighter,” Joshua said. “But I’m confident.”
Povetkin’s only loss in 35 fights was in 2013 against Wladimir Klitschko. He’s won all eight of his fights since then.
Joshua’s trainer, Rob McCracken, said: “He’s got upper body movement, Povetkin, so you’ve got to time him. He’s not always there for the jab and the right hand, and he’s always dangerous with his counters, you can’t just let him walk in, dictate and throw, you’ve got to move and keep him off balance, as Klitschko did really well. He’s a top fighter and a dangerous opponent.”
What is our prediction?
Joshua to win on points. Povetkin may be 38 and in the autumn of his career, but he is still a hugely-fierce competitor and will be a major obstacle for the Briton. This fight will more than likely go the distance.
What are the best odds?
- Anthony Joshua win 1/8
- Draw 40/1
- Alexander Povetkin win 8/1