Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko blockbuster fight to air live on Showtime
Joshua will defend his title against former champ Klitschko live on Showtime
When former champion Wladimir Klitschko challenges up-and-coming heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua on April 29, the only question for American fans had been which network would air the fight live.
It was announced Monday that Showtime will broadcast the Joshua-Klitschko heavyweight blockbuster bout live that Saturday at 4:15 p.m. ET as the centerpiece to its loaded spring schedule.
Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs) will attempt to regain one of the three heavyweight titles he lost by upset to Tyson Fury in 2015 when he faces England's Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) in London.
Showtime's spring schedule also includes previously announced welterweight bouts Andre Berto-Shawn Porter on April 22 and Kell Brook defending his title against Errol Spence Jr. on May 27. In addition, in a pair of featherweight title bouts, unbeaten Gervonta Davis faces Liam Walsh and Gary Russel Jr. faces Oscar Escandon on May 20 from separate sites.
"We are thrilled to be delivering Joshua vs. Klitschko to the U.S. audience live on SHOWTIME," said Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports. "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 unrivaled commitment to the sport."
The move to secure the heavyweight championship bout was a big one for Showtime considering its recent commitment to Joshua, 27, the Olympic gold medalist who appears poised to take over the sport. It was also key considering Klitschko, 41, had fought almost exclusively on HBO over the past 15-plus years in the United States. In fact, the bout will re-air Saturday night with a tape-delayed separate production being broadcast by HBO at 10:15 p.m. ET.
With a record crowd of more than 90,000 expected at London's Wembley Stadium, the fight has the potential to be an incredible event and potential "passing of the torch" bout as Klitschko faces his former sparring partner.
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