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Anthony Joshua Wants To Defend Heavyweight Titles In Nigeria

Anthony Joshua has confirmed he would “definitely love” to defend his heavyweight titles in Nigeria after defeating Andy Ruiz in their rematch.

The IBF, WBO and WBA champion recovered from a devastating upset in his first fight against the Mexican-American to reclaim the belts via a wide unanimous decision in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua, who is of Nigerian heritage, visited the country between the two fights and is keen to bring the first world heavyweight title fight to the continent since the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ in 1974.

Promoter Eddie Hearn, has received numerous offers to stage Joshua’s next fight. However, with the Briton likely to be forced to face his mandatory challenger with the IBF, Kubrat Pulev, a London homecoming fight remains a more immediate probability.

“People had been telling me I should go back for ages. It was crazy because they don’t have 24-hour electricity but they still know me and support me,” Joshua said.

“I went to the ghettos of the ghettos where it’s not all about egos and beef, it’s about people who are hungry to survive.

“It was one of the best things I’ve done. Africa’s rooting for me for sure, so I would definitely love to fight out there.”

Joshua’s parents are both of Nigerian descent and he actually attempted to represent the country at the 2008 Olympics.

But in the meantime, he insisted he’s not taking his eyes off the present after the lessons learned in his first fight against Ruiz.

“Five months from now, the belts go in the air and I have to defend them again,” Joshua said.

“I am only the champion for months again, so I can’t get too caught up in the moment and have to stay focused on the task at hand, which is not staying undefeated any more, but staying champion for as long as possible.” 

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