Anthony Joshua to fight twice in less than a month
British Olympic gold medalist heavyweight Anthony Joshua will face Denis Bakhtov on Oct. 11 at the O2 Arena Millenium Dome in Greenwich, London, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport announced in a release on Friday.
Before being matched against Bakhtov (38-9, 25 knockouts), 38, Joshua (7-0, 7 KOs) will have to get past Konstantin Airich (21-9-2, 17 KOs) on Sept. 13 at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester, England in support of the main event featuring THE RING’s number four-rated junior featherweight Scott Quigg vs. Stephane Jamoye.
“[Joshua] has an important clash with Airich in Manchester in September,” said Hearn. “When he comes through that, he will be ready to face Bakhtov in what promises to be a cracking contest.”
Bakhtov is coming off last month’s unanimous decision over Airich while Joshua, 24, stopped Matt Skelton in the second round last month.
In the O2 Arena Mellenium Dome, Joshua returns to the venue of his professional debut, in which he knocked out Emanuele Leo in the first round in October 2013.
In another bout on the card, featherweight Lee Selby takes on Joel Brunker in an IBF eliminator for the right to face titleholder Evgeny Gradovich.
“It’s a huge night for Lee Selby and one that will show that he is ready for a world title shot,” said Hearn. “Brunker is a tough and talented Aussie with plenty of ambition but I believe that Lee has timed his run to the top perfectly and will do the business on Oct. 11.”
Also, southpaw middleweight John Ryder faces Sergey Khomitsky, junior welterweight Ricky Boylan challenges Tyler Goodjohn and 140-pounder John Wayne Hibbert is being matched against Philip Bowes.