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Jones: Joyce ideal foe for Joshua in Nigeria

Given his Nigerian heritage, a fight in the vast West African nation has always held an immense appeal for heavyweight king Anthony Joshua.

A ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ style promotion should certainly capture the imagination and leading contender Joe Joyce would be a fitting opponent, says the Juggernaut’s manager Sam Jones.

Like ‘AJ’, the undefeated Joyce also has Nigerian roots and is on course to be the WBO’s No.1 challenger should Joshua defeat current mandatory Oleksandr Usyk in September. In the meantime, Putney’s Joyce must navigate a July 24 date with former Joshua foe Carlos Takam.

After their undisputed title bout fell apart last month, WBA Super, WBO and IBF champion Joshua still hopes to face WBC and Lineal title holder Tyson Fury in late 2021 assuming the ‘Gypsy King’ finishes his business with Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas, also on July 24.

That could eventually pave the way for a Joshua vs Joyce fight in Nigeria in 2022, if the Juggernaut manoeuvres into a WBO mandatory position. Stranger things have happened in boxing.

“There is a possibility Joe and Joshua could fight in Nigeria,” Jones told Sky Sports. “They are both of Nigerian descent so that could be huge. If AJ needs a dance partner in Nigeria, look no further. That fight would be something very, very special.

“Joe would relish the thought of fighting Joshua in Nigeria, but he also would to fight Tyson Fury in Las Vegas or in a stadium in the UK. Joe will be mandatory to the world title. Hopefully, Joshua and Fury get it on, and Joe will get the winner.

“Joe’s time will come. He wants to see Joshua vs Fury, too – there needs to be an undisputed title fight. He doesn’t care who wins.”