Eddie Hearn: Why Anthony Joshua's venue preference is looking unlikely

Eddie Hearn believes it will be difficult for London to host the rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk this summer.

A second fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is the preference for Joshua, who was beaten there by Usyk in the first fight last September.

Hearn believes AJ will have a better chance of gaining revenge on home soil and the UK promoter says the last encounter was "an incredible experience".

Joshua was beaten by the Ukrainian over 12 rounds, losing his WBO, IBF and WBA titles in front of 65,000 fans.

It was a masterclass from the 35-year-old, who was later claimed to be at just 60 per cent by his manager Sergey Lapin.

The scorecards were overwhelmingly in favour of the challenger - 117-112, 116-112, 115-113.

The decision was met with a shrug of the shoulders by Joshua (24-2) who faces a career-defining fight in the rematch.

Just where that showdown will take place remains unclear. A decision over the venue is expected to be made in the next two weeks with Saudi Arabia the frontrunner, according to Usyk's promoter Alexander Krassyuk last month.

But Joshua's camp want another fight in the capital, while the UAE and America are also contenders to stage the fight scheduled for June or July.

Hearn wants 'bigger advantage' for AJ

"London is an option," Hearn told the Evening Standard: "If it's London, we'll want to go back to Tottenham. I've already spoken to Daniel Levy, the first fight was an incredible experience.

"We want to do a fight in London because it's a bigger advantage to AJ quite frankly, but we've had a number of offers that are much more lucrative than London.

"I'm not saying money's not important to Anthony Joshua but he has to win the fight, so he would prefer to take less money potentially to do it in London, but I'm sure Usyk wouldn't."

Joshua excercised the option of a rematch after the Brit inserted the clause into the contract of the first fight. AJ earned around £10m, plus 60% of the PPV income from that fight with Usyk earning £3m, plus a 40% share of the TV buys.

The second fight is believed to be a 50-50 split, but it's clear that there is more money on offer to stage the fight outside of the U.K.

Joshua has regained his world titles before having lost to Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden in June 2019.

Joshua far from finished, says Hearn

He bounced back six months later in Saudi Arabia, beating the Mexican over 12 rounds. And Hearn is sure his man can repeat that feat again.

"I think it's remarkable that people can talk about AJ being done when he lost to the pound-for-pound No2 fighter in the world," said Hearn.

"He's young, he's fit and has no injuries. He lives and breathes for boxing and I've seen a hungrier AJ than I've ever seen before in his career to date, which is the bounce back that I wanted to see.

"Once the desire goes in boxing, it becomes a very, very dangerous sport. He wants to win more than ever in his career and he's so convinced having shared the ring with Usyk that he can beat him. But he's got to do things much more differently in this fight and I think he will and I think he can."

Read more: Oleksandr Usyk on Ukraine war and preparation for Anthony Joshua rematch

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