Wladimir Klitschko is set to be ringside in Manchester on December 10 to watch Anthony Joshua defend his IBF world heavyweight title against Eric Molina.

The plan is for the former long-reigning champion to fight Joshua – should he beat Molina – for the IBF title and the vacant WBA title next year.

Klitschko will not fight between now and then but is expected to be ringside at the Manchester Arena in order to be on hand should Joshua beat Molina as he is expected to do.

“We’re still just boxing off a few things [for Joshua-Klitschko], but they’re tiny things. The plan is for Klitschko to be ringside on December 10, get the win and then we’re there,” Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, told Boxing News.

On March 4 David Haye will fight Tony Bellew on Sky Sports Box Office, which would be in close proximity to a Joshua-Klitschko fight, which would also be on pay-per-view.

However, Hearn is confident both fights would do huge numbers regardless of the tight schedule due to the public appeal.

“The date we’re looking at is the end of April so it’ll be about eight weeks [after Haye-Bellew]. When they’re that size, I’m not concerned. If they’re big enough, they sell. They’re two superfights.”

Joshua-Klitschko was originally mooted for December 10 but as the WBA took so long to allow their vacant title to be on the line for it, Molina was drafted in for the unbeaten Joshua.

As Klitschko was unable to secure himself an alternative opponent for that date, he will take time out – creating the longest hiatus in his illustrious career, having not fought since losing to Tyson Fury last November – until he faces Joshua.