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14th Dec 2017

Two surprising locations are in the running to host Anthony Joshua’s next fight

What's the Barcelona weather like in the spring?

Darragh Murphy

It looks like Anthony Joshua fans might have to get their passports out.

Joshua’s US debut may not take place next but that doesn’t mean that his supporters won’t have to travel because two surprising cities have emerged as potential locations for his unification clash with WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker.

Joshua vs. Parker is almost a done deal following a month of negotiations between the fighters’ camps.

The bout could be made official as early as next week and March remains the targeted date as Joshua still wants to go ahead with his plan to compete three times in 2018.

Bad blood was injected into the fight by Parker’s team last month when his promoters, Duco Events, held a press conference in which they released footage of each time ‘AJ’ had been wobbled in his career.

The Kiwi’s head promoter, David Higgins, has interestingly revealed that the fight could take place on neutral soil, with two unexpected locations – Germany and Spain – announced as potential candidates.

“We all know the English and a lot of Europeans like a holiday in Spain,” Higgins told ESPN.

“There’s a lot of expats in Spain. An event that size would attract maybe 50,000 visitors that would stay maybe three or four nights. It would bring 10s of millions of GDP input into the location.

“One thing that Eddie Hearn [Joshua’s promoter] and I have agreed on is to look at various locations and go to the one that makes the most economic sense.

“I reckon if you put it in a place like Barcelona it would still sell out. It would be a great weekend. Because it’s not in peak season it definitely has an economic benefit.

“Boxing is big in Germany, obviously with the Klitschkos [Wladimir and Vitali] having sold out stadiums. The UK obviously makes a lot of sense because of the Joshua fan base. We’ll talk to a few locations.”

Parker hasn’t fought since September, when he claimed a majority decision over Hughie Fury, while Joshua stopped Carlos Takam in the tenth round of their October clash in Cardiff, a city which is also in the running to host his next fight.