Anthony Joshua will take on Joseph Parker in a world heavyweight unification fight at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on March 31.
Anthony Joshua holds the IBF and WBA belts, while Joseph Parker is the WBO champion.
Whoever wins in March is certain to then face undefeated American Deontay Wilder, who holds the fourth belt in the heavyweight division.
“I would like to announce the official news that myself and Joseph Parker will be fighting on March 31 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff,” Joshua is quoted by The Telegraph as saying.
“It is a unification heavyweight championship fight, we all know what happened last time I was in a unification heavyweight championship fight. It was gruelling, it was interesting and we both left the ring with masses of respect.
“These fights aren’t easy because there is a lot on the line, so respect to team Parker for taking the challenge. And you know me, I love this game. I am looking forward to it, training camp is underway and before you know it March 31 will be upon us. Stay tuned for more news and I will see you all soon, God bless.”
Both Joshua and Parker boast unbeaten records in professional boxing.
WBO champion Joseph Parker said he was relieved the contractual negotiations had now been concluded as he could now fully concentrate on the job in hand. “Anthony Joshua is in for a huge shock,” Parker said. “A couple of months ago I heard him say ‘why should I be worried about this little kid from New Zealand’?
“Well, now he’s about to find out. And the world is about to find out whether AJ can really take a punch. My entire existence is now devoted to proving what the boxing world already knows.”
Anthony Joshua returns to the scene of his last action in the ring, where Carlos Takam became his 20th win inside the distance from his 20 professional fights, the fourth defence of his IBF crown and first of the WBA Super and IBO belts he landed in his epic, dramatic battle with Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium last April.
“I’m delighted to get this fight made – it’s been a long time coming,” said Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn. “Champions should fight Champions and AJ continues to step up to the challenges.
“It’s the first time in history that two reigning heavyweight world champions have met in Britain and it’s a classic match-up between two young, fast, undefeated belt holders and it’s going to be an explosive fight. This is another huge unification fight for Anthony as he continues to make history in the quest to become undisputed world heavyweight champion.”