Promoter Eddie Hearn is currently looking at different venues for the anticipated rematch between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko. There has been a lot of talk about holding the fight outside of the UK and one frontrunner is Nigeria.
Joshua has Nigerian heritage and has a tattoo of the country on his arm. He has also lived there for a brief period of time. Promoter Hearn is obviously interested in hosting a big boxing event in Africa and realises the opportunity that he has.
“I think Nigeria is probably one of the frontrunners. People have this perception that Nigeria is a place that makes fire by rubbing twigs together. It’s a very powerful economy with a huge middle-class sector and actually, it’s a country that has a number of major events already – particularly pop music concerts,” told Hearn in an interview with iFL TV.
The champ himself is naturally very interested in the idea of fighting in his mother’s homeland.
“When you are in sport you become a representation of people. “I’ve got it [an outline of Nigeria] tattooed on my arm, so people can relate to me. I don’t know if [a fight there] will happen,” said Joshua.
There are still many questions surrounding the idea. Nigeria has never hosted a boxing event of this magnitude and it will certainly be a challenge to organise one.
“The infrastructure is there. Obviously, it’s difficult for us because there’s never been a major fight before – but that’s challenging. I like that,” told Hearn.
Though the rematch itself has not yet been officially announced. Klitschko still has not given his reply but according to the Ukrainian, he will make a formal announcement in the next week or two.