Date Set for Klitschko vs. Joshua
The showdown between Wladimir Klitschko and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has a date, as the bout is now set for Dec. 10.
Klitschko was expected to have a unified world title rematch with Tyson Fury on Oct. 29, but that bout was called off and the WBO and WBA heavyweight titles were vacated after Fury was declared "medically unfit" due to his battle with cocaine, alcohol and depression. Fury had upset Klitschko to win the titles back in Nov. 2015.
After retaining the IBF title over Dominic Breazeale with a seventh-round TKO back in June, Joshua was expected to defend the title next against Joseph Parker. However, after the bout with Fury was canceled and the titles were vacated, talks between Klitschko and Joshua began, while rumors of Parker versus Andy Ruiz Jr. also began to be discussed.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has previously stated he hoped the WBA heavyweight championship could be on the line in a bout between Klitschko and Joshua, and there were speculations the bout with Parker and Ruiz could be for the WBO title.
While the venue has yet to be decided, possible favorites for the bout include the Manchester Arena and the Principality Stadium, in Cardiff, Wales. The O2 Arena is not expected to hold this bout due to concerts going on around the time.