Joshua to meet Bakhtov for title
Anthony Joshua will have his first title fight when he takes on Denis Bakhtov for the WBC International Heavyweight belt at the O2 in London on October 11.
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Joshua's big night comes on a packed card, live on Sky Sports, which also includes Lee Selby taking on Joel Brunker in a final eliminator for the IBF World Featherweight crown.
Bakhtov is a two-time holder of the WBC title and recently claimed an eight-round win over German Konstantin Alrich, who Joshua will come up against in Manchester on September 13, also live on Sky Sports.
“I believe that the time is right for Anthony to step up and fight for his first title,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.
“He has an important clash with Airich in Manchester in September, and when he comes through that, he will be ready to face Bakhtov in what promises to be a cracking contest."
Selby has burst on to the world scene in the last 12 months but unbeaten Australian fighter Brunker will provide him with his toughest test yet as they look to secure a clash with champion Evgeny Gradovich.
“It’s a huge night for Lee Selby and one that will show that he is ready for a World title shot," Hearn added.
"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 October 11."
The bill also includes fights for a number of London fighters, with John Ryder facing Sergey Khomitsky for the WBA Inter-Continental Middleweight title.
Ricky Boylan meets Tyler Goodjohn for the English Light Welterweight title and John Wayne Hibbert tackles Philip Bowes for the Southern Area Light Welterweight title, with Tommy Martin, Ohara Davies and Ben Hall also fighting on the bill.
“I think that Ryder versus Khomitsky is a fantastic fight and one that would put John in a great position if he can land the win, while the clashes between Boylan and Goodjohn and Hibbert and Bowes have plenty of local pride at stake," Hearn said.