WORLD heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Olufemi Oluwaseni Joshua has revealed that he would hope to defend his title against Mexican Andy Ruiz who he defeated over the weekend in Nigeria.
On Saturday, Joshua reclaimed his four belts from Ruiz at a fight which took place at the Diriyah Arena on the outskirts of the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh. This was the second time the two fighters had met after Ruiz won their first bout in June and the Mexican has made it clear he wants a rematch.
Joshua is expected to return to London to defend his titles against Kubrat Pulev but his promoter Eddie Hearn has received numerous offers to stage future bouts elsewhere. Joshua, 30, said he began to dream of a fight in Nigeria, which would be the first time the continent has staged a world heavyweight title fight on the continent since 1974 when Mohammed Ali and George Foreman met in the Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire in 1974.
Having visited Nigeria this year, Joshua said he is considering staging a fight there. He added: “People have been telling me I should go back for ages. It was crazy because they don’t have 24-hour electricity but they still know me and support me.
“I went to the ghettos of the ghettos where it’s not all about egos and beef, it’s about people who are hungry to survive. It was one of the best things I’ve done as Africa is rooting for me for sure, so I would definitely love to fight out there.”
Both of Joshua’s parents are from Ogun State in Nigeria and the fighter made a bid to represent the country at the 2008 Olympics, only to be turned down by boxing officials. While a prospective bout in Nigeria remains a long-term ambition, Joshua revealed he has no intention of slackening off his training regime over Christmas.
He is expected to meet Pulev in a mandatory title defence in April or May before moving on to take on another commitment, possibly against Oleksandr Usyk, later in 2020. No venues have been arranged for either fights yet.
Joshua added: “Five months from now, the belts go in the air and I have to defend them again. I am only the champion for months again, so I can’t get too caught up in the moment and have to stay focused on the task at hand, which is not staying undefeated any more but staying champion for as long as possible.”