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10th May 2017

When Anthony Joshua fights again in the UK, it won’t be in Wembley

This could surpass Wembley for atmosphere

Robert Redmond

Anthony Joshua has plenty of options for his next bout.

Joshua could step back into the ring with Wladimir Klitschko, and few would complain about the prospect of another classic heavyweight fight between the pair.

The 27-year-old could also face WBO champion Joseph Parker, or American Deontay Wilder.

He called out Tyson Fury following the victory over Klitschko, but may have to wait a while for that bout.

While, according to the Times, Joshua wants to fight Dillian Whyte again, in a rematch of their December 2015 bout, which Joshua won.

There’s also Luis Ortiz and Kubrat Pulev, the mandatory challengers for Joshua’s WBA and IBF titles respectively, but Joshua is understood to be cold on the prospect of either fight.

It’s evident that Joshua has several options for his next fight. However, the heavyweight isn’t as spoiled for options when it comes to a venue.

Joshua and Klitschko sold out Wembley Stadium in April, with 90,000 in attendance.

But the outdoor venue will be used by Tottenham Hotspur from August for a Premier League season, and would be vulnerable to the elements in the autumn, when Joshua is due to fight again.

If he is to fight in the UK next, Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, has a solution in the form of the Millennium Stadium.

The Cardiff stadium has a retractable roof and is capable of generation a fantastic atmosphere when the roof is closed.

“I don’t think he’ll box again until again between September and December. It’s more likely to be Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium if it’s in the UK,” Hearn said.

“We can’t return to the 02, and Manchester Arena. The next phase is about the big heavyweight championship fights.”

Wales’ national stadium holds 74,000 people, and will host the Champions League final on June 3.

The Millennium Stadium could end up hosting a rematch between Joshua and Klitschko.

Klitschko’s manager has said the 41-year-old is currently on holiday and evaluating his options. It appears as though the Ukrainian will either seek a rematch with Joshua, or retire.

“Now he feels better, he’s on vacation in Florida with his wife and daughter, relaxing a little bit and he’ll make his decision very quickly when he gets back, the latest at the beginning of June, or maybe in between, what his next step will be,” Bernd Boente told Boxing News.

“That next step could be the rematch or that he retires, but that’s up to him.”

Boente also claimed that Klitschko, who knocked Joshua down in the sixth round before getting stopped in the 11th round, is no longer disappointed, because he feels he was unlucky to lose the bout.

“He’s not that disappointed anymore, he knows that he made some mistakes but he also knows that he could beat Anthony.

“He showed that. Two, three more punches in round six or even round seven and he would’ve been the winner.”