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Joshua given step-up with Airich bout

ESPN staff
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Anthony Joshua has won his first seven fights as a professional, all by stoppage © Getty Images
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Anthony Joshua will face Konstantin Airich at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester on September 13, promoters Matchroom have annouced.

Airich is tasked with stopping Joshua's run of seven stoppage wins from seven professional fights. The 35 year old brings a wealth of experience to the table, with 21 wins from 35 fights and having shared the ring for the full distance with Odlanier Solis and Denis Bakhtov.

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He returns to Britain having reached the semi-finals of the Prizefighter International Heavyweights at Alexandra Palace in May 2011.

"This fight signifies the first real step up for Anthony," promoter Eddie Hearn said. "Airich has plenty of experience at the top level, he's a lively competitor and can punch.

"Anthony is fresh from his visit to spar Wladimir Klitschko and fans in Manchester can expect an explosive performance."

Joshua's clash with Airich is part of a big card in Manchester, led by Scott Quigg's WBA world super-bantamweight title defence against Stephane Jamoye. Chief support comes from Anthony Crolla's WBO inter-continental lightweight title defence against Gamaliel Diaz.

Scotty Cardle challenges Kirk Goddings for the English lightweight title with the fight also an eliminator for the British belt, the first of two exciting eliminator contests for the coveted Lord Lonsdale strap as welterweights Sam Eggington and Denton Vassell also clash.

Local favourites Liam Hanrahan and Sam Hyde are joined by former Team GB star Gamal Yafai and Derbyshire's Jack Massey.

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