Anthony Joshua is set to face Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch of their Wembley blockbuster, his promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed.
Joshua secured the biggest victory of his career when he rose from the canvas to stop the former heavyweight king in the 11th round in front of 90,000 fans in April.
Klitschko, 41, has yet to confirm whether he will retire or trigger his rematch clause and take on the newly-crowned IBF and WBA world champion. But Hearn claims they are working on making the fight and that the money involved means he ‘can’t see (the Ukrainian) not taking it’.
‘We’re looking at all the potential sites for the rematch. It’s not really a case of them having to let us know by a certain date. For us, it’s happening,’ Hearn told Boxing News.
‘Until (Klitschko) turns round and says “no, I’m retiring,” we’re full steam ahead. At the moment all I can tell you is that it’s happening because we haven’t heard otherwise.
‘Bernd (Boente, Klitschko’s manager) has got a meeting with him this week. The number of offers we’ve had come in from other sites means the money’s so big, I can’t see him not taking it. Even away from the money I think he wants it, I think he looks back and thinks he had Josh in the fifth or sixth. A lot of people gave him a lot of props for it, so why not?’
The first fight in April took place in front of 90,000 supporters at Wembley Stadium — a post-war British record.
But Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, which hosted the Champions League final on Saturday, had been touted as the likeliest venue for the money-spinning rematch, with Hearn claiming last month that they were looking at dates for in October.
Now, however, the Matchroom promoter has claimed that there are sights in Europe, Africa, America and Asia all making lucrative offers to host one of the biggest fights in world boxing.
‘We’re looking at America, Nigeria, Dubai or Cardiff,’ Hearn said.
‘Cardiff isn’t the frontrunner financially. The money we’re getting offered from other sites is huge, but that comes with problems. It’s a new market for us, go and do an event in Lagos sounds great but operationally it’s very difficult. You have to look at money, is it there? Is it secure?’
Joshua is required by the IBF to face his mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev in his next fight but Hearn has applied for an exemption to allow a rematch with Klitschko to take place, the decision on which Hearn expects this week.