- Wladimir Klitschko has been given permission to face Anthony Joshua
- WBA have sanctioned the fight for the spring of next year
- Klitschko had been waiting for a rematch with Tyson Fury
- Joshua is due to defend his IBF heavyweight crown in December
Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight ‘super’ title fight against Wladimir Klitschko will take place next spring, provided he beats Eric Molina in December.
The British IBF world champion has had his headline-making clash with the Ukrainian sanctioned by the WBA after two scheduled meetings between Klitschko and former champion Tyson Fury were called off.
Fury, who has found himself at the centre of a drugs storm after testing positive for cocaine, vacated his belts citing the need to ‘fully focus on (his) medical treatment and recovery.’
Anthony Joshua’s fight against Wladimir Klitschko has been sanctioned by the WBA
Klitschko had been waiting for a rematch with former world champion Tyson Fury (left)
Joshua will defend his IBF world heavyweight crown against Eric Molina on December 10
That left the door open for a meeting between Olympic gold medallist Joshua and 40-year-old Klitschko, who is looking to reclaim the title he lost to Fury in Germany a year ago.
However, the bout taking place relies on Joshua seeing off Molina – the 28-year-old Texan who has a record of 25 victories from 28 fights.
That encounter is due to take place at the Manchester Arena two weeks before Christmas.
Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed a deal is in place between his client and Klitschko and said he will work with the Ukrainian’s manager Bernd Boente on finalising a date and venue.
‘It was beautiful to finally see the WBA’s decision last night finally allowing the Joshua v Klitschko fight for the spring,’ Hearn told Sky Sports.
Klitschko, at the age of 40, will be aiming to win back a world heavyweight champion’s belt
‘The deal is in place and we can now move forward with Bernd and their team to start confirming dates and venues.
‘The only thing in AJ’s way is Eric Molina and the full focus must be on the toughest fight of his career on December 10 in Manchester. Wladimir will be ringside with his fingers crossed and victory for AJ will set up this mega fight in March/April 2017.’
Molina stretched WBC champion Deontay Wilder to the ninth round before being stopped in June last year.
Joshua said of the announcement of the Molina fight on Tuesday: ‘I am pleased that everything is now set for December 10 and I can concentrate on getting the business done in the ring.
‘There has been plenty of talk about who I may face but all I’m doing is concentrating on finishing Molina in style and putting on a great show.’
Joshua has been sharing his preparations for his December bout with Molina on social media
Boente, meanwhile, expressed his and Klitschko’s desire to see Joshua beat Molina, setting up the ‘superfight’.
‘Team Klitschko is very happy about this WBA resolution,’ Boente told ESPN.
‘Wladimir always was a proud and committed WBA ‘super’ champion and now he wants to regain his title.
‘From the beginning, Wladimir made clear how important it is to him that the WBA title is on the line in his next fight.
‘Hopefully, Anthony Joshua wins his upcoming fight against Molina and then we have a mega event, a promoter’s dream fight coming true in March or April.
‘Two Olympic super heavyweight gold-medal winners fighting each other, the young lion challenging the old lion.
‘This is a fight each boxing fan around the world wants to see.’