Anthony Joshua’s next fight looks likely to be at the new 62,000-seater Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London against either Oleksandr Usyk or Kubrat Pulev.
Joshua regained his WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF heavyweight titles with a landslide points win over Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia on Saturday and has told Eddie Hearn, his promoter, that he wants a fight back in London next, after twice boxing abroad in 2019.
Pulev, the Bulgarian, who is the IBF’s mandatory challenger, is the most likely opponent, with Usyk, the WBO’s mandatory, set to be offered a fight with Dereck Chisora in March, something that might appeal to the Ukrainian who has only had one fight at heavyweight since moving up from cruiserweight.
“In terms of the dates we have been given, the IBF have said you have to fight Pulev by the end of April, while the WBO have given him 180 days,” Hearn said. “So we have to ask if they will allow this fight first.
“It is a case of speaking to Usyk’s guys. They can fight Chisora and fight the winner, or push us and fight for a vacant title.”
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which opened this year, is the home ground of Tottenham Hotspur and staged two NFL games in October.
Joshua has twice topped the bill at Wembley Stadium, but with Wembley due to host matches in next summer’s European Football Championships, fewer dates are available.
“Wembley does not look great, date wise,” Hearn said. “Tottenham Hotspur is a nice new stadium for a UK fight and we have to look at it.
“Since Saturday, the phone has gone crazy with people saying ‘bring him here, bring him here’. People have seen what we have just done in Saudi Arabia and there are a lot of options internationally, but AJ wants to box back in the UK.
“We have spoken to Spurs about doing and they were very keen to host the Ruiz fight but the dates did not work out. They are very keen again and it would be a nice London stadium to do it in.”
Joshua says he is keen to box in the United States again at some point, but he wants his next fight in the UK.
“It would be mega,” he said. “Looking at home many people came out here shows there is still a big interest in the heavyweight division, especially now we are taking the belts back.
“To defend them back on home soil, I think would be big news. It would be better against another Brit but, if not, I will my mandatory and crack on that way.”