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Anthony Joshua’s next fight most likely heading to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after Andy Ruiz win

Declan Taylor
Tottenham Hotspur's brand new stadium cost in the region of £1bn, but the club has not committed to paying all its staff the London Living Wage: PA

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has emerged as the most likely venue for two-time world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s next fight.

The 30-year-old reclaimed his WBO, WBA and IBF titles via a unanimous decision over Andy Ruiz Jr in their Saudi Arabian rematch at the hastily erected Diriyah Arena on Saturday night.

But with mandatories due with two of those three sanctioning bodies, attentions have already turned to where and when Joshua will be out next.

The London 2012 Olympic gold medalist is keen to box back on home soil in his next outing with a date in either April or May currently most likely.

Joshua has made Wembley Stadium his home having fought and won there three times already but his promoter Eddie Hearn says the venue already has a packed schedule for 2020.

That has lead to him considering alternative locations and he has now revealed that Joshua could be set to make his triumphant homecoming at the home of Tottenham Hotspur.

Hearn said: “Wembley does not look great, date wise. Tottenham Hotspur is a nice new stadium for a UK fight and we have to look at it.

“The phone has gone crazy with people saying ‘bring him here, bring him here’.

“People have seen what we have just done in Saudi Arabia and there are a lot of options internationally but AJ wants to box back in the UK.

“We have spoken to Spurs about doing it and they were very keen to host the Ruiz fight but the dates did not work out.

“They are very keen again and it would be a nice London stadium to do it in.”

On the opportunity to fight at Tottenham Hotspur, not far from his first amateur club in Finchley, Joshua said: “It would be mega.

“Looking at home many people came out here shows there is still a big interest in the heavyweight division, especially now we are taking the belts back.

“To defend them back on home soil, I think would be big news. It would be better against another Brit but, if not, I will fight my mandatory and crack on that way.”

Joshua boxed beautifully off the back foot (AP)

Indeed it is likely that Joshua’s next fight will be against one of his mandatory challengers with the WBO and IBF both due.

That means it looks like Joshua will face either Kubrat Pulev (IBF) or Oleksandr Usyk (WBO) next before he gets back in the hunt for a crack at the WBC belt currently held by Deontay Wilder.

“We have to speak to the governing bodies now and see,” Hearn added.

“I believe it is the IBF who is due first so we would have to fight Pulev and then Usyk. We don’t really want to vacate any belts.

“AJ has got his belts, they are there to defend and really we have to see who goes first. If the WBO say ‘no, you have to choose between one of the belts’ we could do Usyk against Dereck Chisora or Joseph Parker and Joshua fights the winner of that.”

Hearn also confirmed that Joshua’s victory over Ruiz is in line to break the all-time British pay-per-view record set by Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko back at Wembley in April 2017, which was bought by 1.5m people.

The Saudi time difference meant that Joshua walked to the ring around an hour earlier than usual which is thought to have boosted sales while the high-stakes nature of the contest also meant fans were eager to tune in despite the price set at an all-time UK high of £24.95.

Hearn said: “We are waiting on the final number but it has almost certainly broken the UK pay-per-view record. It’s well over a million.”