Klitschko’s Camp Favours Las Vegas for Rematch with Joshua


Duro Ikhazuagbe with agency report

Nigerians expecting to see a world title boxing bout in the country may have to wait longer to assuage their hunger as Wladimir Klitschko’s camp favours Las Vegas for the heavyweight title rematch with Nigerian born British World Heavyweight Champion, Anthony Joshua.

Nigeria, Dubai and Cardiff have been on the card as possible destinations for the rematch after Joshua defeated the classy Ukrainian to claim the unified world heavyweight titles in Wembley Stadium in London last April.

Joshua retained his IBF title and gained the WBA and lesser-regarded IBO belts after stopping the 41-year-old Klitschko in the 11th round in the British capital.

But yesterday, Sky Sports reported that Klitschko’s Manager, Bernd Bonte, has had discussions with the Promoter of the fight, Eddie Hearn, and all feelers from that meeting points at the American gambling city getting the nod to host the mouth-watering rematch.
“I have been in talks with Bernd Bonte and the team. We’re getting close now to identifying the real options in terms of venues and locations,” Hearn revealed in the Sky Sports report.

“Vegas has taken a little bit of a frontrunner in those (talks). I know the British fans would love to do a trip out there for Joshua-Klitschko.
“Nigeria is still in the mix, Dubai as well, and of course Cardiff. But like I said, Vegas has probably got its nose in front at the moment.

“I think in the next week, we’re looking to present all those opportunities to Wladimir Klitschko and his team. Speaking to Bernd Bonte this morning (Wednesday), I feel like it’s going to take that special event to make this fight.

“I would like to keep it in Britain. The fans have been incredible to Anthony Joshua, but if it means travelling to make sure this fight happens for world boxing, and it means taking a few plane loads to Las Vegas for a night and an experience they won’t forget.
“Anthony Joshua is the world heavyweight champion, he’s not the British heavyweight champion. He wants to break boundaries and so do we.
“To see Anthony Joshua’s name up in lights on the Las Vegas strip is certainly something that appeals to us all.

“I would say the next couple of weeks, we’ll be looking to make a decision in terms of the venue and location,” concludes Hearns to Sky Sports.

Joshua who has his roots in Sagamu in Ogun State has strong support base here in Nigeria. His victory over Klitschko has sort of boosted his followership in the country, most especially boxing aficionados.
He’s expected to pay a visit to Nigeria before the rematch with the Ukrainian.