Arsenal have joined Tottenham in the race to host Anthony Joshua’s next title fight.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed that the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium remains his preferred venue when Joshua defends his IBO, WBA, WBO and IBF belts against Kubrat Pulev this summer.
However Arsenal have made a late bid to steal the event, set to take place in June, away from their north London rivals.
“It’s not been done before at Arsenal, but I don’t see why not,” said Hearn.
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“If you want to establish yourself as a sports entertainment destination, it’s a pretty big coup to get this fight.
“It’s the north London race for this fight. Tottenham is our preference, but we’re talking to Arsenal and they’ve come in and said, ‘How do we make this happen?’
“I get the feeling that Arsenal and the Emirates would quite like to nick this. It would be like a little one-upmanship for them.
“Emirates was such a revolutionary stadium, but almost feels old now. It’s quite interesting.”
Hearn confirmed that terms have not yet been finalised for the fight between Joshua and Pulev but that an agreement in principle has been reached.
Joshua, 30, last fought in the capital in September 2018, beating Alexander Povetkin in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium.
Anthony Joshua following his fight with Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia.
(Image: (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images))
The Emirates Stadium has never previously hosted a boxing fight or non-football sporting event, though it has regularly played host to the Brazilian national team and is among the 21 stadia that will be used for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. It is set to host its first concert in seven years this summer with The Killers following in the footsteps of Bruce Springsteen, Muse and Coldplay.
Meanwhile Tottenham’s stadium, opened less than 12 months ago, was designed to be used across multiple sports and has a retractable pitch that allows it to swiftly switch to ‘NFL mode’. The ground has already hosted two American football matches and is due to host fixtures in both rugby codes this year.
This summer will also see Guns ‘n’ Roses perform two concerts in late May with Capital’s Summertime Ball happening a week later on June 6.