The biggest fight in over a decade comes to us on the 29th April 2017 from Wembley Stadium, London when IBF Heavyweight Champion, Anthony Joshua takes on former unified champion, Wladimir Klitschko for the IBF and current vacant titles, the IBO and WBA world championshps in front of 90,000 fans.
The blockbuster event will now be shown in the USA as American television giants Showtime and HBO have agreed with Matchroom Sport, Klitschko Management Group (KMG) and K2 Promotions to televise the historical fight.
Showtime are the exclusive US television partner of Anthony Joshua while HBO has an exclusive agreement with Wladimir Klitschko in the States. Each network will provide separate coverage of the main event for its US audience.
Managing Director of Klitschko Management Group, Bernd Boente, spoke of his happiness regarding the agreement.
“I’m extremely happy and thankful that our respective U.S. TV partners Showtime and HBO reached an agreement,” said Boente, “This happened before in the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao and the Lewis vs. Tyson fights and shows you the magnitude of our event at Wembley Stadium on April 29.”
Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Boxing, was also delighted with the agreement with the two US networks.
“I’m delighted to announce this historic deal that will see Britain’s biggest ever fight shown on both HBO and SHOWTIME in the U.S.,” said Hearn, “It takes a special fight to break down barriers and boundaries but also networks and executives who believe in working with the best interest of fight fans in mind. With the obstacles in place it would have been any easy resolution to not air the fight in the States but I want to thank HBO and Showtime for their perseverance and allowing America to see one hell of a fight at our national stadium in front on 90,000 passionate fans. Joshua vs. Klitschko is a fight for the ages and we look forward to the show!”
Executive Vice President and General Manager of Showtime sports, Stephen Espinoza, stated how proud he was of showing the coverage and being Anthony Joshua’s exclusive television partner.
“We are thrilled to be delivering Joshua vs. Klitschko to the U.S. audience live on SHOWTIME,” said Espinoza.
“On the afternoon of April 29, U.S. sports fans will be able to tune in to SHOWTIME to join a record-breaking crowd of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium and a worldwide television audience in witnessing an event that represents not only the contesting of the heavyweight world championship, but potentially the changing of the guard in the most influential division in boxing. We are proud to be Anthony Joshua’s exclusive U.S. television partner as he attempts to establish his legacy against the legendary Wladimir Klitschko, live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, as Showtime continues its unrivalled commitment to the sport.”
HBO Executive Vice President, Peter Nelson said, “Both promoters and both networks have found a solution that enables boxing fans in the U.S. to watch the world heavyweight championship. This agreement ensures that our subscribers have access to same-day primetime coverage of the fight. It will mark Wladimir Klitschko’s 22nd appearance on HBO and the first for Anthony Joshua.”
IBF World Champion Joshua has been in fantastic form since turning professional after he won Gold at the London Olympics in 2012. He won the IBF title with a second-round knockout of Charles Martin in April 2016 and has gone on to successfully defend his title in his next two fights against Dominic Breazeale in June and Eric Molina in December. Joshua won the title after competing in the fewest number of fights in over 20 years.
Joshua is just the sixth Olympic Gold Medalist at super heavyweight to go on to win a professional heavyweight world title, joining Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, Alexander Povetkin and his rival on April 29, Wladimir Klitschko.
Wladimir Klitschko turned professional after winning Gold in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and was undefeated for 24 fights before his defeat to Ross Puritty. This did not phase Klitschko as he went on to go 10 fights undefeated before capturing his first world title (WBO) when winning by unanimous decision against Chris Byrd in 2000, who beat Wladimir’s brother Vitali earlier that year.
This will be Klitschko’s first outing since losing the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles to Tyson Fury in 2015, his first defeat in 11 years.
Klitschko was the longest reigning world champion (2000 – 2016) after Joe Louis.
SHOWTIME will televise its SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING presentation live at 4:15 p.m. ET/1:15 p.m. PT, while HBO will televise its WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING production at approximately 10:45 p.m. ET/PT.