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23 Jan, 2020 17:05

‘We have a HUGE site offer’: Anthony Joshua wants to fight winner of Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder in Saudi Arabia this year

‘We have a HUGE site offer’: Anthony Joshua wants to fight winner of Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder in Saudi Arabia this year

Anthony Joshua hopes to persuade the winner of the Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder fight to drop any rematch clause and meet him this year in Saudi Arabia, where promoter Eddie Hearn has claimed a huge offer is on the table.

Joshua could return to the Diriyah Arena, the 15,000 capacity purpose-built stadium where he regained his world titles in a rematch win over Andy Ruiz Jr in December, or another venue in Saudi Arabia, according to Hearn.

Wilder defends his WBC title against Fury in Las Vegas on February 22, and Joshua believes a win for the reigning champion would be the popular result ahead of his own defence of his WBA, IBF, and WBO belts later in the year.

We have a huge site offer in place for that fight to take place,” Hearn told Sky Sports about a showdown to become undisputed heavyweight king between Joshua and Wilder or Fury.

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We have a partnership out there in Saudi Arabia. They put the money up for the Andy Ruiz fight.

Everything they promised, they delivered. They want this fight bad and when they’ve got that kind of attitude and mentality, it’s going to be difficult to beat.

Hearn labelled Joshua “the boss” and called on him to give “the thumbs up” to an equally-split purse for a superfight after Fury and Wilder’s refusal to accept a 60-40 split during past negotiations, adding: “I think he knows that’s the way to make this fight.”

“We have to try and make that happen,”Hearn implored. “Right now, the fight that Anthony Joshua wants is the winner of Wilder and Fury.”

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A beaming Joshua, who is thought to have earned around £59 million ($77.4 million) for his revenge on points over Ruiz Jr, voiced a preference for facing the American should he return to the Middle East for another mega payday.

Everyone wants Wilder to win because that’s the fight everyone wants to see,” the 30-year-old told Sky Sports Boxing, claiming the money on offer would act as a “curveball” that could dissuade Fury and Wilder from enacting any rematch clause after they meet.

Wilder’s got a big right hand, I’ve got a big left hand, so it’s going to be a match-up of a great boxing match and that’s the one that everyone wants to see.

In the more immediate future, Joshua is likely to return to action in May or June against challenger Kubrat Pulev, who Hearn called “the frontrunner” for a fight in the UK.

“Pulev is the fight for me,” said the Matchroom Boxing boss. “And more importantly for the boss, AJ, he wants it here.

“He’s boxed now in Saudi Arabia for his last fight, he’s boxed in New York before that. For me, it’s time to come home.

“The bad news is that Kubrat Pulev wants as much money as possible for this fight and he realises there's more money in Istanbul, or Saudi Arabia, or the Congo, or Nigeria. But AJ is going to call the shots.”

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The WBO had ordered Joshua to make a mandatory defence against former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, but Hearn believes the IBF fight was called for first.

The Ukrainian is close to agreeing to meet Joshua sparring partner Dereck Chisora on March 28, while Joshua could still forego the Pulev fight should the veteran Bulgarian hold out for a non-British venue.

We’re looking at dates at the end of May to the beginning of June for the Pulev fight,” revealed Hearn.

Everywhere is in play. Emirates Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur, The Olympic Stadium, we’ve also reached out to Twickenham as well.

Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, where Joshua beat New Zealander Joseph Parker on points in March 2018, is also an option, according to Hearn.