The World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight final between George Groves and Callum Smith will be held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on September 28.
In what will also be Groves’ third WBA title defence, Smith’s first world title fight, and both fighters’ chance to win the Muhammad Ali trophy, they will meet at the King Abdullah Sports City.
Confirmation of the location comes after venues in Manchester, the Midlands and London were also considered for what represents Groves’ biggest fight since his rematch in 2014 with Carl Froch.
The 30-year-old defeated Jamie Cox in the competition’s quarter-finals in October, and then Chris Eubank Jnr in the final four in February, when a dislocated shoulder threatened his participation in the final against Smith.
He was then passed fit to fight in May, and he said: “It’s fantastic news that we now have a confirmed date and location for the final.
“I’m incredibly excited that the fight has been formally confirmed to take place in Jeddah. I’m excited and sure this final will eclipse every WBSS fight to date for excitement and drama.
“I have been in camp for a while already but am now looking forward to stepping the training up now that the date’s been set.”
The promising Smith, 28, hopes to become the second of four boxing brothers – following Liam – to win a world title.
After defeating Nieky Holzken and Erik Skoglund to challenge Groves, he said: “It has been a long time since my semi-final win over Holzken.
“But the most important thing to me is that my opponent is George Groves. It means that by the end of September I have the chance to be the WBA champion and the number one super-middleweight in the world. I believe I will do it.
“I am excited to be part of such a big night of boxing. It began with the red carpet treatment (at the competition draw) in Monaco and will end with more of the same in Jeddah.”
The final of the cruiserweight edition of the WBSS concluded last weekend in Moscow, where Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk impressively outboxed Murat Gassiev of Russia in a fight that unified all four of the division’s world titles.
Anthony Joshua has already accomplished plenty in his stellar career, but the 28-year-old unified heavyweight champion believes he still has another decade to go.
Speaking at a press conference for the September 22 bout with Alexander Povetkin, Joshua made it clear he has no plans to hang up his gloves anytime soon, citing advancements in science and the longevity of former boxers as evidence for why he can keep going.
“I think I’ve got 10 years left in boxing and I really want to cement my legacy,” Joshua said.
See what else Joshua had to say and his praise of Povetkin in the video below.
Anthony Joshua will defend his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley on September 22.
Russia’s Povetkin is the mandatory challenger to his WBA title, and by fighting him Joshua should secure greater freedom in selecting his next opponent.
The 28-year-old Briton has been in training while negotiations with WBC champion Deontay Wilder stalled, but could yet face the American in April 2019.
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring. The end of March feels a long time ago now,” said Joshua, who beat Joseph Parker by unanimous points decision in Cardiff on March 31.
“Povetkin is a serious challenge that I will prepare meticulously for. He has serious pedigree and only a fool would underestimate what he brings to the table.
“Training hasn’t stopped for me, but the next 10 weeks ahead will be intense both mentally and physically. I will push myself to breaking point to make sure I am in peak condition for another huge night for British boxing at Wembley Stadium on September 22nd.”
IT’S ON! @anthonyfjoshua will defend his WBA,IBF,WBA and IBO World heavyweight titles against Alexander Povetkin at @wembleystadium on September 22! New York press conf tomorrow and London on Wednesday 🇬🇧🇷🇺 pic.twitter.com/NDCn7EpgvX— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) July 16, 2018
Povetkin, 38, stopped David Price on the undercard of Joshua’s victory over Parker, having previously fought for the titles Joshua now holds in a 2013 defeat to Wladimir Klitschko.
“The battle for the world title has always been my goal,” Povetkin said. “I fought for the moment to face the strongest in the world and on September 22nd I get my opportunity.
“Anthony Joshua has four belts (including the little-known IBO title) and I want them all.
“I’m glad that our fight will finally take place. The meeting of two Olympic (super-heavyweight) champions (Povetkin won in 2004, Joshua in 2012) in the ring is destined to be a breathtaking event.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn added: “Last time (Joshua) was there (against Klitschko, in April 2017) he produced one of the most dramatic fights and endings in the history of the sport, and I expect this fight to be full of energy and drama.
“Povetkin is a top-three heavyweight and extremely dangerous but in AJ I see the best heavyweight in the world and I think we will see a major statement.”