WBA sanctions Joshua-Klitschko for spring 2017

LONDON (AP) The World Boxing Association has finally sanctioned a fight between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko for its ''super'' heavyweight title.

The fight will take place in the spring of 2017, but only if Joshua beats Eric Molina on Dec. 10 in the second defense of his IBF title.

The WBA super belt is vacant after Tyson Fury relinquished it last month, citing ''clinical depression.'' Fury beat Klitschko in November last year to take the WBA, IBF and minor WBO titles off the Ukrainian boxer.

Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn, said on Thursday ''we will now move forward with Bernd Boente (Klitschko's manager) and Team Klitschko in planning the date and venue, knowing that victory against Eric Molina in Manchester on Dec. 10 is more important than ever.''

The WBA also said Shannon Briggs will fight Lucas Browne for the ''regular'' title on or before Dec. 31.