Nigerian born British boxer, Anthony Joshua will defend his World Boxing Association, World Boxing Organization and International Boxing Federation heavyweight titles against Russia’s Alexander Povetkin at London’s Wembley Stadium on September 22, promoter Eddie Hearn announced, yesterday.

Povetkin is the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s WBA title and a successful bout against the Russian would give the London 2012 Olympic champion greater freedom to choose his next opponent.

Joshua had been hoping to fight fellow unbeaten heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, who holds the World Boxing Council belt, but he could yet face the American in April 2019.

“I can’t wait to get back in the ring. The end of March feels a long time ago now,” said Joshua, who beat Joseph Parker of New Zealand by unanimous decision in Cardiff on March 31.

“Povetkin is a serious challenge that I will prepare meticulously for. He has serious pedigree and only a fool would underestimate what he brings to the table.

“Training hasn’t stopped for me, but the next 10 weeks ahead will be intense both mentally and physically.

“I will push myself to breaking point to make sure I am in peak condition for another huge night for British boxing at Wembley Stadium on September 22nd.”

Joshua, 28, won his first world title in 2016 and has made five defences, taking his record to 21-0 with 20 knockouts.