Forget Fury: Wladimir Klitschko set for showdown with Anthony Joshua

After world heavyweight title rematch postponed yet again, Ukrainian switches his sights to Britain’s IBF belt-holder

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 September, 2016, 12:11am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 September, 2016, 12:18am

After his world title rematch with Tyson Fury was again postponed, ex-champion Wladimir Klitschko is on the verge of sealing a new heavyweight bout against IBF belt-holder, Britain’s Anthony Joshua.

“Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn and I have actually agreed things financially,” said Klitschko manager Bernd Boente.

“It now depends a bit on the world organisations, but we would like to see the fight go ahead.”

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The pairs’ broadcast partners, Britain’s Sky Sports (Joshua) and RTL in Germany (Klitschko), are said to be “very interested” in the fight, which would most likely take place in Manchester.

Joshua’s camp has already booked the Manchester Arena for November 26 with the British fighter’s International Boxing Federation (IBF) belt on the line.

Last Friday, Fury pulled out of a planned bout against Klitschko for the second time.

Fury’s camp says he is medically unfit to fight Klitschko on October 29 – which was also due to be held in Manchester – having pulled out of their July 9 bout with an ankle injury. The British fighter is reportedly seeking professional help.

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Boxing’s respective governing bodies could strip Fury of the WBA and WBO belts he won when he beat Hamburg-based Klitschko on points in Duesseldorf last November.

“From our side, when Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua could box for the WBA and IBF belts on November 26, we would like to take the fight,” said Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.

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The 26-year-old Joshua, the super heavyweight champion at the 2012 London Olympic Games, has won all 17 of his fights by knockout since turning pro in July 2013.

The British fighter was a sparring partner for Klitschko two years ago.

The 40-year-old Ukrainian has won 64 of his 68 fights and his defeat by Fury was his first for a decade.