The WBA have officially sanctioned a blockbuster battle between Anthony Joshua MBE and Wladimir Klitschko for the spring of 2017 for the Super title – but only if Joshua successfully defends his IBF World Heavyweight title against Eric Molina at the Manchester Arena on December 10, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on SHOWTIME in the US.
Joshua defends his crown for the second time in his third straight clash with American opposition having ripped the strap from Charles Martin with a second round KO win in February at The O2 and defending the belt against Dominic Breazeale with a seventh round stoppage at his London fortress in June, extending his impressive run of KO wins to 17 in the paid ranks.
The 27 year old Olympic hero now faces his toughest test to date knowing that his clash with Klitschko is on the line along with his precious IBF belt.
Klitschko ruled the Heavyweight division for 15 years after landing the WBO crown on October 14 2000 and over that stretch adding the IBF, WBA and IBO titles over a stunning career, before defeat to Tyson Fury in November. The 1996 Olympic gold medal hero fights in the UK for the second time in his glittering career having beaten Monte Barrett in London in July 2000 in his last fight before he became World king and his incredible domination of the Heavyweight scene began.
“It’s been an arduous wait to gain official approval but we were delighted to receive the news that the WBA will officially sanction the fight between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko for the WBA super title,” said Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.
“We will now move forward with Bernd Boente and Team Klitschko in planning the date and venue knowing that victory against Eric Molina in Manchester on December 10 is more important than ever.”
There’s a huge card in support of the main event as Dillian Whyte defends his British heavyweight title against bitter London rival Dereck Chisora in an official eliminator for the WBC title. Whyte makes the second defence of his strap after seeing off fellow Brixton man Ian Lewison in Glasgow last month, while former World title challenger Chisora can get his hands on the Lord Lonsdale belt for the second time.
Scott Quigg returns to action after treatment on his broken jaw following his unification blockbuster with Carl Frampton, and the Bury star moves up to Featherweight as he looks to regain his status as a World champion.
Kal Yafai can become Birmingham’s first World champion but the unbeaten 27 year old faces a tough task to rip the WBA Super-Flyweight title against Luis Concepcion, the two-weight World champion that will enter the ring in his 11th World title outing.
Irish amateur sensation Katie Taylor boxes for the second time in the paid ranks after making her pro debut at The SSE Arena, Wembley on November 26, Heavyweight wrecking ball ‘King Kong’ Luis Ortiz fights in Europe for the second time after clashing with Malik Scott in Monte-Carlo on November 12 and Hosea Burton will defend his British Light-Heavyweight title against Frank Buglioni.