WORLD heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua may end up defending his title in Nigeria next year against Nigerian-born British boxer Joe Joyce realising his long term goal of fighting on home soil.
Joshua, 31, from the royal family in Sagamu in Ogun State, has long wanted to defend his title in Nigeria. Given the magnitude of such an event, it would likely have to take place in either Lagos, Abuja or Uyo, the cities that have the facilities such as stadia, hotels, transportation links and recreational facilities.
Joyce, 35, has held the British, Commonwealth, European, World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) heavyweight titles since 2020. Born to a Scottish-born Irish father and a mother of Nigerian origin, Joyce grew up in London and studied at Elliott School, taking up boxing at the age of 22, after his interest in track and field athletics was curtailed by injuries.
Sam Jones, Joyce’s manager, said that the boxer could fight Joshua in Nigeria as he could become a mandatory challenger and enforce a world title fight. On July 24, the undefeated Joyce will face Carlos Takam, while Joshua will defend his International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association and WBO titles against Oleksandr Usyk in September.
Mr Jones added: “There is a possibility Joe and Joshua could fight in Nigeria. They are both of Nigerian descent, so that could be huge.
“If Anthony Joshua needs a dance partner in Nigeria, look no further. That fight would be something very, very special.”