Anthony Joshua is unlikely to have home advantage for his world heavyweight rematch with Oleksandr Usyk this summer.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn wants to stage the rematch back at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium because he feels fighting in London will boost his chances of winning back his belts. But Saudi Arabia have made a site offer which could generate twice as much fighting at Spurs’ home and Hearn says Usyk would prefer to go abroad.
Both fighters must agree the venue for the rematch, which has a 50-50 purse split, and Hearn can understand Usyk’s reluctance to return to London. He does not want to hand Joshua home advantage, even though he dethroned Joshua there in September to become a two-weight world champion.
The Brit’s promoter Eddie Hearn wants the rematch to go ahead at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – where their September bout was fought – as he believes a home crowd in London could inspire Joshua to victory. However, complications appear to have risen.
Saudi Arabia has reportedly made a site offer which could potentially generate twice as much revenue as staging the bout in north London. On top of that, Hearn revealed Usyk would prefer to fight on an international stage.
“If contracts and site fees that have been offered come to fruition, it would make going to the UK very difficult for us to get Usyk to do, quite frankly,” the Matchroom Boxing boss told Mirror Sport. “We can see it from their point of view, ‘why would I bother going back to England for half the money?’.
“We can’t take a site that pays significantly less to Usyk. We want to go to London, it would be a big advantage for AJ to take this fight back to London, but if a site fee generates double the money, there’s no way Usyk will allow us to go to London. So we do have to take that into consideration, but AJ is ready to fight wherever the fight takes place