Joshua fight to go ahead, with or without Klitschko

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Joshua fight to go ahead, with or without Klitschko

Eddie Hearn says IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will fight in Manchester in December even if Wladimir Klitschko is not his opponent.

Joshua was due to take on the Ukrainian at Manchester Arena, but Klitschko is now seeking to have a form of the WBA title vacated by Tyson Fury made available for the winner.

"With the hold up from the WBA, we need a little more time, so regardless of if it's Klitschko or not, AJ [Anthony Joshua] will return on December 10 in Manchester," promoter Hearn told Sky Sports.

"We are beginning discussions with other opponents now while crossing our fingers that Klitschko takes the fight, regardless of how many belts are on the line.

"In an ideal world, there would be as many belts as possible on the line, but I hope he takes up the challenge rather than a soft touch in Germany," he added, referring to rumours Klitschko is seeking to arrange an alternative bout.