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Heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko will make his 18th title defence at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on April 25.
Klitschko’s opponent has not yet been signed but a deal to fight the unbeaten Bryant Jennings is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks.
It will be the first time that Klitschko has fought in the United State since 2008 when he claimed a decision victory against Sultan Ibragimov at Madison Square Garden.
However, after signing a new deal with HBO, he has been keen on returning for some time and he will get his wish in April.
“The fight will be at the Barclays Center and we are very, very pleased,” Bernd Boente, Klitschko’s manager, told ESPN.com.
“The contract is not signed yet but we have a handshake deal and we are getting everything finalized. It’s a really good deal for both sides. We are all looking forward to a big event.”
Boente revealed that they had the choice between the Barclays Center and the Garden, but Brett Yormark , the Barclays Center CEO, made it clear that he really wanted to host the event and therefore they opted to stage the fight in Brooklyn.
2015 promises to be a key year in the landscape of the heavyweight division, starting on January 17 when Bermane Stiverne defends his WBC belt against Deontay Wilder.
Tyson Fury has established himself as a mandatory challenger for Klitschko’s WBO strap, but in a press conference to announce his next fight in February, he was adamant that the Ukrainian would not take a fight with him as he knows that he would lose.
As a result, provided Klitschko comes through his next test, he could well choose to ask for a shot at the WBC title in order to unify the division, or Fury may well look to face the winner of Stiverne-Wilder and give the 38-year-old no option but to face him, provided he wins.
With various scenarios capable of playing out, the first answer will be in January with Fury next in February and now Klitschko in April while Anthony Joshua will hope to be in the mix by the time the year is out.
Klitschko began his second title reign by knocking out Chris Byrd in the seventh round on April 22, 2006 in Germany, and he is chasing Joe Louis’ all-time record of 11 years, 8 months, 8 days as heavyweight champion.
Klitschko’s 17 consecutive title defences are third-most in heavyweight history behind only Larry Holmes (20) and Louis (25, which is an all-time record for any weight class), as reported by ESPN.