LONDON — Anthony Joshua believes it is a possibility he could go his whole career without fighting in the United States.
Britain’s best boxers have always tried to crack America after success on the home front and some — Lenox Lewis, Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan included — had multiple fights there.
But WBA-IBF world heavyweight champion Joshua, who has fought exclusively in the U.K. as a professional, insists he is not yearning to experience the bright lights of Las Vegas or the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York.
Asked if he could go his entire career without fighting in America, Joshua replied: “Yes, because it’s all about where the market is and it’s so strong here, it’s brilliant here, so why would we leave it?
“I wouldn’t mind going to the States if people were to say, ‘Look, Josh, this will cement your legacy, this is a great opportunity to go to America’, I’ll definitely think about it.
“But where no one has said it, and it’d be like, ‘Let’s just go to Vegas because everyone else has done it’, I don’t want to do it for that.
“What we did with [Wladimir] Klitschko at Wembley was phenomenal. I still train at Finchley ABC so a lot of my support is home-based. I always say it gives people an opportunity from my local area to travel half an hour to Wembley for one of the biggest fights in boxing history.
“That’s why I don’t want to travel to America, not just for the sake of it, because it limits a lot of people from being able to come and watch me.” For his last two fights against Klitschko and Carlos Takam, Joshua attracted gates of 90,000 and 78,000 to Wembley Stadium and Cardiff’s Principality Stadium respectively.
Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs), 28, will return to Wales to face WBO titleholder Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs), of New Zealand, on March 31. Victory may lead to another unification fight against Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs), if the American can overcome Cuba’s Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, on March 3.
If a Wilder fight can be made with four belts on the line, Joshua wants it in London rather than a U.S. venue. “I would love Wilder to be at Wembley. Wembley would be sick for that in the summer,” Joshua said. “Wilder is an American fighter and I’m not, so me going there shouldn’t really add massive numbers on PPV [pay-per-view television revenue].
“He should already be showing a spreadsheet of what they are achieving and that should already tempt me to go there and think, ‘If I come I’m only going to add 20 percent’, I shouldn’t be adding 80 percent and him filling up the rest.”