RIVALS: Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko (right) will meet in 2017
ANTHONY JOSHUA will face former world ruler Wladimir Klitschko for his IBF world heavyweight title and the vacant IBO championship as well as the WBA super championship on April 29, 2017 at Wembley Stadium Connected by EE, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
The mega fight after Joshua's three round demolition of Eric Molina in London on December 10. The British heavyweight said: “This fight will be one of the biggest nights in my boxing career, it marks the highest point of my climb through the professional ranks. It is three years since I turned professional, I have taken the time to gain experience, fight men who have fallen and some who have fought hard and through this I am learning my trade, how the business works and gaining the ring craft which is sometimes underestimated as everyone wants to see the mega fights right away.
"It is the perfect time for me to move up another step and contest my heavyweight championship belt against one of the legends of our sport. There is no doubt this will be a titanic battle with a huge amount on the line, just like every fight, but when I enter the ring I will be prepared for victory as I have been with all my other fights. The legend against the champ - it’s time to write history."
Veteran Klitschko said: “I'm looking forward to this fight of the year, just like boxing fans all around the world. This is the first time in a decade that I'm the challenger again. I will fight against a champion who I consider the best of the young generation. Basically experience will take on youth. This makes this fight that unique. I will be ready for the challenge!”
“I’m so happy to get this fight made,” said Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn. “It is the biggest Heavyweight fight in the last decade and a fight that will belong in the legacies of both fighters. It’s the young lion against a legend of the sport.
“Many felt AJ would not take this challenge and that it’s too early for him but he wants to test himself and give the fans great fights. After all, isn’t that what you want to see? The risk, the dice being rolled, the 50-50 fights that will excite and ignite the World of Boxing.
“Everything is on the line in this fight, not just the IBF and WBA’s titles, but hopes, dreams and even careers.”
Bernd Boente, managing director of Klitschko Management Group confessed: “I'm very happy that our teams make this mega event happen and that three belts are on the line. Two Olympic Super-Heavyweight Champions facing each other.
"This is the best heavyweight fight that could be. This is a promoter's dream fight. The young, undefeated champion against the best heavyweight of the past decade. This kind of duel only happened a couple of times in boxing history and it was always the same question: Is the young lion ready to take over or can the old lion defend his territory?”
An announcement on tickets will be made at a press conference on Wednesday.