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Unbeaten Joshua to fight for first pro title

ESPN staff
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Anthony Joshua is so far unbeaten in seven professional fights © Getty Images
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Anthony Joshua will fight for his first title on October 11 at The O2 in London when he faces Denis Bakhtov for the WBC International Heavyweight crown.

Joshua returns to the venue he made his professional debut to take on the Russian, who is a two-time holder of the title. Bakhtov most recently claimed an eight-round win over Konstantin Airich, who Joshua faces at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester on September 13.

"I believe that the time is right for Anthony to step up and fight for his first title," promoter Eddie Hearn said. "He has an important clash with Airich in Manchester in September, and when he comes through that, he will be ready to face Bakhtov in what promises to be a cracking contest."

Also on the card, Welsh star Lee Selby takes on Joel Brunker in a final eliminator for the IBF World Featherweight title. Selby has been in red hot form over the last 18 months, claiming the Lonsdale belt outright and bursting onto the world scene with wins over Viorel Simeon and Romulu Koasicha.

Unbeaten Brunker has eyes on the world title held by Evgeny Gradovich, and the Australian will provide Selby with his toughest challenge of his career to date.

Hearn added: "It's a huge night for Lee Selby and one that will show that he is ready for a world title shot. Brunker is a tough and talented Aussie with plenty of ambition, but I believe that Lee has timed his run to the top perfectly and will do the business on October 11."

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