Despite Eddie Hearn seeming confident of a potential box office heavyweight fight between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko just last week, the promoter has now revealed that such a contest will now take place in 2017 due to an injury for the Ukrainian. IBF Champion Joshua is still on course for a planned title defence in Manchester in early December, however, an alternative opponent will now have to be found. With many of the leading candidates already contracted to fights given the short notice, Joshua will undoubtedly be the favourite in the boxing odds among bookmakers to gain another victory, whoever the opponent may be.
Klitschko’s reign over the Heavyweight division was put to an end back in November 2015 when he was surprisingly defeated by Tyson Fury, with Fury subsequently being stripped of the IBF title due to choosing to fufill his rematch clause with Klitschko rather than face a mandatory opponent put to him by the IBF. Something Joshua benefited from, as it proved to be his route to a World title.
Both Joshua and Klitschko had both been keen to announce their upcoming bout, however an injury in training ruled the challenger out. Despite this, an announcement regarding a rearranged contest in the spring of next year is expected in the coming weeks, with bookmakers Betway sure to add the match up to their boxing odds market. Keep an eye out at Betway’s website for Joshua’s odds against Klitschko.
A whole host of American opponents are now in line to face Joshua, with Bryant Jennings, Eric Molina and Jarrell Miller all hoping to be the chosen fighter. Joshua’s compatriot David Price has also thrown his name into the ring, however Hearn has stated that the 6ft 8in heavyweight has not done enough to warrant consideration. There is still an outside chance that mandatory IBF challenger Joseph Parker or Kubrat Pulev could also face Joshua in December. Although these two seem to be the slim chance options out there.
Joshua, who picked up the IBF title by claiming a knock-out defeat over Charles Martin back in April, is expected to announce his next opponent alongside Hearn within the next 48 hours.
In what will undoubtedly be a entertaining night of boxing at the Manchester Arena in December, Kal Yafai faces champion Luis Concepcion as he bids to win the WBA Super-Flyweight championship. Elsewhere, former world super-bantamweight champion Scott Quigg will return to the ring again, looking to erase painful memories of his defeat to Carl Frampton last time around.