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Anthony Joshua's next opponent revealed


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Anthony Joshua’s next opponent has finally been announced. He will take on Eric Molina on 10th December in Manchester, with the IBF heavyweight championship on the line.

It brings to an end a long, frustrating period for boxing fans – as a decision on AJ’s next opponent was stalled for some weeks whilst negotiations were held with former undisputed heavyweight king, Wladimir Klitschko.

However, the WBA have now declared that Klitschko and Joshua will fight for their ‘super’ version of the world title in 2017.

Such an arrangement suits both boxers, as a fight between the two could potentially sell out a football stadium during the spring next year. A contest of that magnitude would demand a much larger venue and a longer build-up than couldn't be afforded for the 10th December date.

This heavyweight super-fight will depend on a win for Joshua next month in Manchester in what will be his second defence of the world title which he won back in April. Molina – who has 25 wins from 28 contests – was knocked-out by WBC champion Deontay Wilder last year and AJ will be a heavy favourite to produce a similar performance when the pair meet in the ring. 

On the same night as Joshua vs Molina, undefeated heavyweight prospects Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz Jr will do battle for the WBO version of the world title – likely to be in Auckland, New Zealand. Parker, a native Kiwi, is mandatory to challenge for AJ’s title and represents a young, dangerous contender in a resurgent heavyweight division.

The WBA have also arranged a contest for their ‘regular’ world title belt between Lucas Browne and Shannon Briggs. Browne, who won this exact title back in March before failing a drugs test, will take on the 44-year-old Briggs with a date yet to be decided. Briggs – a former opponent of Lennox Lewis and a two-time world champion – had been chasing a lucrative showdown with David Haye for months, and a win over Browne could see negotiations re-open for a fight with the Londoner.

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