West Ham United’s London Stadium could host the next Anthony Joshua mega fight this summer.
As West Ham fans know well their home ground is a multi-use facility which often hosts concerts as well as baseball, rugby and athletics.
And it appears a huge heavyweight title fight could be on the cards come June.
That’s if Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is to be believed.
Joshua set for heavyweight title defence
Joshua is poised to fight one of his mandatory challengers. It comes with the IBF and WBO issuing orders for him to defend his belts.
Kubrat Pulev is the IBF’s number one challenger, while Oleksandr Usyk sits atop the WBO’s rankings.
Joshua and Matchroom boss Hearn are in talks with both sanctioning bodies. They hope AJ can fulfil his mandatories before the end of the year, without having to give up one of his titles.
And key to that will be securing a venue in Joshua and Hearn’s preferred location – London – for a June date.
Speaking to Sky Sports News Hearn said he has enquired about hosting Joshua’s next fight at – amongst others – West Ham’s London Stadium.
Hearn confirms London Stadium could host big fight
“For me, and more importantly the boss – AJ, he wants it in the UK. It’s time to come home,” Hearn told Sky Sports News.
“AJ is going to call the shots here and he may have to let the Pulev fight go if he won’t fight in the places we’d like him to fight. And that is in the UK.
“We’re looking at the dates at the end of May to the beginning of June for the Pulev fight. Everywhere is in play, (Arsenal’s) Emirates Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur, The Olympic Stadium and we’ve also reached out to Twickenham as well and the Millenium Stadium has got some dates for us.
“In an ideal world AJ’s next fight will be Kubrat Pulev, in London.”
West Ham’s deep-rooted boxing links
West Ham season ticket holders usually get priority for events staged at the stadium.
But it is not clear whether that would be the case for a box office boxing event, should the London Stadium be the chosen venue.
West Ham’s ties to boxing are deep-rooted.
The famous West Ham Boys Boxing Club sports the football club’s old crest and has produced many champions over the years.
Frank Bruno, Lennox Lewis and Kevin Mitchell are all Hammers fans too.
West Ham’s beloved former home at Upton Park hosted boxing events. That included an infamous bout between David Haye and Dereck Chisora as well as the Hammer Mitchell.