Mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin has been confirmed as Anthony Joshua’s opponent when he returns to Wembley Stadium on September 22.
The WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion has agreed to fight Russia’s Povetkin, as ordered by the WBA, following a period of unsuccessful negotiations with WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
Joshua last fought at Wembley when memorably stopping Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017.
He has since twice won at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, against Carlos Takam and Joseph Parker – in October and March – and is scheduled to fight in London again early next year.
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring, the end of March feels a long time ago now,” said Joshua, 28.
“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.”
The 38-year-old Povetkin secured his status as mandatory challenger when stopping David Price on the undercard of Joshua’s points victory over Parker, who next week fights Dillian Whyte at London’s 02 Arena.
And that's a fight that has also been on the mind of Joshua, who has experience with both of them in the ring.
'AJ' has successfully seen off both Whyte and Parker in his illustrious career so far, and he's now answered the question: 'Who punches harder?'
“Um, yeah, it’s an interesting question.
"Probably Dillian as well, he hurt me in the second round.
"Parker didn’t really land too many shots. I was clever with my feet.
"In the gym, what I done in the gym is what I did in the fight. I worked on my feet, kept him at range, so he didn’t land a shot on me to be honest.”