WORLD heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua looks set to defend his titles against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev at north London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in June in what will be his first defence since winning his belts back in December.
On December 7, Joshua regained the World Boxing Association, World Boxing Organisation, International Boxing Organisation and International Boxing Federation titles after beating Mexican-American Andy Ruiz in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh. In a unanimous points decision, Joshua reclaimed the four belts he surprisingly lost to Ruiz in June when they met at Madison Square Gardens in New York.
Joshua is now due to face Pulev in a mandatory title defence before moving on to take on another commitment, possibly against Oleksandr Usyk, later in 2020. Tottenham’s recently refurbished stadium is now the front runner to stage the June fight against Pulev, the IBF mandatory challenger.
Apparently, Joshua requested a London venue for the next defence of his WBA, IBF and WBO titles. Arsenal’s Emirates and Twickenham Stadium were also under consideration but Tottenham Hotspur’s 62,000-seater home has emerged as the most likely location.
Boxing promoter Barry Hearn, said: “We’re very close, I had a meeting with Anthony Joshua last night. We’ve had offers in from the Far East, Middle East, Africa, America and Turkey.
“He’s made it very clear to me, I want to come home. I want to box in London next as I’ve been to Madison Square Garden, I’ve been to Saudi Arabia, bring me home. Forget the other offers, bring me home.
“He wants to fight in London in June and we’re on the verge of making that happen now. Spurs is the front runner and that’s what he’s asked me to do, so we’ll be delivering that for him.”