Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko have agreed to a fight, with final confirmation of the bout expected in the next few days.
The two heavyweights will face each other at Manchester Arena on December 10, with Joshua’s IBF belt and potentially the WBA and WBO titles on the line.
“The deal between the fighters is there. The financial terms are agreed, there was a problem with US broadcasters but that has been sorted,” Hearn told the BBC.
“It is now a case of getting the paperwork and the sanctioning in order. Hopefully in a couple of days we will have the official announcement.”
Britain’s Tyson Fury gave up his WBA and WBO belts last Wednesday and his boxing license was then suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control pending further investigation into his admission of drug use.
Fury beat Ukraine’s Klitschko last November to win the WBA, IBF and WBO titles, but pulled out of scheduled rematches twice citing injury and medical issues.
It later emerged, however, that Fury had tested positive for cocaine use. His camp claims this was related to his ongoing battle with depression.
Unbeaten British star Joshua was originally set to defend his title on November 26 in Manchester, but will now face Klitschko two weeks later.
Former world champion David Haye thinks Joshua will send Klitschko into retirement.
“I definitely think the era of the Klitschkos will be over,” The *** reported him as saying.
“Joshua has got him at the perfect time. Klitschko physically always looks the part and comes to the ring in shape but he is not the fighter he once was.
“And sometimes fighters are the last to realize it. I just hope he doesn’t get too bashed up.
“Joshua at 26 is too fresh, too young, too enthusiastic. Klitschko is just too old.”
Anthony Joshua v Eric Molina The IBF heavyweight champion has confirmed he will face the American at Manchester Arena on December 10. Unbeaten Joshua, 27, believes his 18th professional fight will be the toughest test of his career so far. Molina, 34, has lost three of 28 bouts including his 2015 loss to WBC king Deontay Wilder.
But he had an impressive stoppage win over Tomasz Adamek in his last outing earlier this year. Joshua said: "I am pleased that everything is now set for December 10 and I can concentrate on getting the business done in the ring. “There has been plenty of talk about who I may face but all I'm doing is concentrating on finishing Molina in style and putting on a great show. "Every fight is dangerous in this division and this is no exception. "I saw Molina have a great fight with Wilder and he is now coming off a strong KO win against Adamek in Poland.
"I'm expecting this to be the toughest fight of my career so far and I will be ready for an all-out war.”
London 2012 gold medal hero Joshua was due to face former heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko before that fight fell through over issues with the WBA title and a calf injury suffered by the Ukrainian.
Fellow Brit David Price was linked with the December 10 date, but Molina insists he fits the bill.
The American said: "There is no heavyweight in the world that has bounced back like I have.
“That’s the man that Joshua faces on December 10 and that man is a very dangerous one. "He’ll fight the toughest Molina that anybody has ever seen, just like Adamek fought the toughest Molina. "I know exactly what I’ve got to do to prepare myself in the amount of time. "I know exactly what I’ve got to do, mentally, physically, to go there and perform. "When you walk out into the atmosphere, half the battle is the mental battle, and if you can stay in the moment mentally you have a shot in any fight."
The much anticipated bout between Britain’s Anthony Joshua and Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko, which has already broken Wembley box office records with over 80,000 tickets sold, is now set to match the record for the biggest British boxing crowd. The current record of 90,000 fans at a boxing bout, set by Len Harvey and Jock McAvoy at London’s White City Stadium in 1939, is now set to be matched on April 29 during the world heavyweight title clash, as the organizers’ received approval to boost the capacity at Wembley for the event.
@klitschko_fans_officialJoshua-Klitschko fight smashes Wembley record with 80,000 tickets sold "I can't wait to see the fight of the year here in London and it's fantastic that a post-war record crowd will get to watch it at a world-class venue like Wembley," London Mayor Sadiq Khan told Sky Sports. Matchroom Boxing managing director and promoter Eddie Hearn has also noted the London mayor’s role in organizing the upcoming fight. "Sadiq urged me to bring the biggest fights to the city and I'm delighted to have the biggest fight in British boxing history at Wembley," Hearn said speaking to the BBC. Knockout artist Joshua has a perfect professional record of 18 wins in 18 matches, all of which came by knockout, while veteran Klitschko has 68 fights behind him, suffering just four losses.
The Ukrainian’s most recent defeat came in November 2015, when he lost to controversial British fighter Tyson Fury.
The fight for the vacant WBA Super and IBO world heavyweight titles as well as Joshua’s IBF belt will also be broadcast live on Sky Sports Box Office.