Boxing: Anthony Joshua sets date for heavyweight title defense

Anthony Joshua © Andrew Couldridge
Anthony Joshua has announced he will defend his IBF world heavyweight title for the first time on June 25, with his opponent to be announced at a later date.

The 26-year-old Brit will return to London’s 02 Arena to defend the title he won earlier this month by defeating American Charles Martin.

READ MORE: Joshua KOs Martin to win IBF heavyweight title (VIDEO)

Joshua made the announcement in a post on Twitter, saying: “I wanted the closest fight date possible because I’m feeling good.”

“I can’t wait to get back in training camp, and pick up where we left off,” he said, before naming June 25 as the date for his first title defense.

Joshua won the IBF belt in impressive fashion earlier in April, flooring Martin twice in quick succession in the second round to win by knock-out.

The Londoner is also an Olympic super-heavyweight gold medallist, and became only the third man in history - along with Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks - to hold a professional heavyweight title at the same time as being a reigning Olympic champion.  

Although his opponent on June 25 has yet to be named, potential challengers include Bermane Stiverne, Eric Molina and undefeated American boxer Dominic Breazeale.

Matchroom, which promotes Joshua, had originally named July 9 as the date for his next fight, although the plan was changed when Tyson Fury announced his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko would take place on that day.  

READ MORE: Fury-Klitschko rematch confirmed for July 9 in Manchester – reports

Anticipation continues to build of an all-British heavyweight bout between Joshua and Fury. If both come through their respective fights, the calls for a matchup would be hard for the pair to resist.  

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