What is it?
Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin in another huge world-heavyweight clash, and it’s nearly upon us. The Russian is the mandatory challenger to Joshua’s WBA title and the Briton will also be defending his WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO belts when the two fighters meet in London.
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 on how to book and live stream the fight right here.
For US readers: It will be also aired on the streaming platform DAZN as part of the US debut of the service.
Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin | How long until the fight starts?
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 10pm with the fight starting afterwards.
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.”
Joshua vs Povektin: All you need to know
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.
Revealed: How Anthony Joshua is being fuelled by cat-naps, fewer snacks and plenty of sex
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 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 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, me 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 has vowed to “shut down” the knockout power of Alexander Povetkin.
The 39-year-old challenger has only been beaten once in his career, a loss to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013, and boasts 24 knockouts from his 34 wins.
Promoter Eddie Hearn fears the fight will be the second toughest of Joshua’s career behind his epic win over Klitschko last year.
And 28-year-old Joshua is certainly not taking his opponent lightly.
The Brit said: “In the heavyweight division not only are they talented but one punch changes the course of the fight. We all know that story.
“He’s got that punching power, he’s got big knockouts on his record, so it’s down to me to handle business accordingly.
“He’s a threat with the left hook, but not only that, it’s how tough they are, how much do they want it?
“He could have the best left hook in the world but if I keep punching him and breaking him down it might stop him from doing that, so these attributes need to get shut down early.
“I’ve got to annihilate that from early on. He’s got a lot in his locker so I need to take control early.
“The last time at Wembley was against Klitschko, and I think Povetkin is the right opponent to bring that style of fight out of me. It’s all about the ‘W’.”
Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker, in pictures
Hearn admitted he was “nervous” about the showdown, which will be undefeated Joshua’s 22nd professional bout.
“It’s a massive show, a massive event with the biggest star in world boxing and the best heavyweight in the world,” Hearn said.
“But I’m a bit nervous because I think this is a much tougher fight than people give it credit for. Boxing fans know how big a fight this is and how tough a fight this is.
“Outside of Klitschko I think on paper this is the toughest fight of Joshua’s career so far.
“He’s expected to win. But Povetkin punches very hard, he’s got a good chin, he’s durable. I expect this to be a real test.”
Assuming Joshua comes through unscathed all eyes will be on a potential bout to unify the division against WBC title holder Deontay Wilder.
But Hearn has warned Wilder, who is set to fight Joshua’s fellow Brit Tyson Fury later this year, and his team to come back to the table or risk missing the boat.
“We want the undisputed fight, but it’s very difficult to make a fight when other teams aren’t particularly interested in talking to you,” added Hearn.
“For us it’s all about Saturday, then a WBO mandatory defence, but an undisputed fight would be allowed, it’s just a case of when we can get that done.
“My advice to Wilder’s team, if we beat Povetkin, is hurry up, because you haven’t got long.”
What are the best odds?
Anthony Joshua win 1/8
Alexander Povetkin win 8/1
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.