Anthony Joshua will return to London’s Wembley Stadium and defend his three heavyweight belts Sept. 22 against Russia’s Alexander Povetkin, promoter Eddie Hearn announced Monday.
England’s Joshua (21-0, 20 knockouts) engaged in the 2017 fight of the year at Wembley when he vanquished long-reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko by 11th-round technical knockout.
Now, after pausing fellow unbeaten champion Deontay Wilder’s heated calls for a unification bout this year, Joshua is expected to instead launch Hearn’s new streaming service, DAZN (pronounced “The Zone”), with confirmation expected at a Tuesday news conference in New York.
The 38-year-old Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs), the mandatory challenger for the World Boxing Assn. title, previously lost a title shot at Klitschko in 2013 by getting knocked down four times in a bout in Moscow. More recently, Povetkin was stopped from fighting for Wilder’s belt in Russia after submitting a positive test for a banned performance-enhancing substance to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Assn.
Joshua has agreed to return to Wembley in April for another bout, widely expected to be against Wilder.