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Anthony Joshua defends world titles against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley

By Mutala Yakubu

Anthony Joshua will defend his IBF, WBA 'super' and WBO titles against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium on September 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

The unified world heavyweight champion faces his WBA mandatory challenger Povetkin as he returns to the scene of his epic victory over Wladimir Klitschko in front of a post-war record crowd of 90,000 in April 2017.

Joshua's last two world title fights had been at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, with the unbeaten 28-year-old firstly stopping Carlos Takam before adding the WBO belt in a points win over Joseph Parker in March, and AJ is delighted to be back at England's national stadium.

"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.

"Training hasn't stopped for me, but the next 10 weeks ahead will be intense both mentally and physically. I will push myself to breaking point to make sure I am in peak condition for another huge night for British boxing at Wembley Stadium on September 22."

Former WBA champion Povetkin inflicted a brutal knockout on David Price on the Joshua-Parker undercard and has predicted a memorable battle against a fellow Olympic gold medallist.

"The battle for the world title has always been my goal," said Povetkin. "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 breathtaking event."

"I can't wait to return to Wembley on September 22 for what I believe will be one of the biggest tests of AJ's career," said Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn.

"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.

"It will be another huge night for British boxing with major championship fights on the card and another one of those special nights and atmospheres that will be watched by millions all around the world."

Povetkin's promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy said: "The fight between Joshua and Povetkin is one of the biggest fights that can happen in the heavyweight division today.

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"This is a colossal battle between two Olympic champions and it is sure to be an unforgettable night of boxing. I am delighted that Alexander is getting his chance to not only become a world champion again, but to challenge for the throne of the heavyweight division."

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