Joe Joyce to face winner of Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk after being named mandatory challenger

Joe Joyce has been named as the mandatory challenger for the WBO heavyweight title and he already has his eyes on Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium hosting the fight against either Anthony Joshua or Oleksandr Usyk.

It was confirmed late on Tuesday afternoon that Joshua will put his four title belts – the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO – on the line on September 25 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium against mandatory challenger Usyk.

And a potential Battle of Britain is now in store, after Joyce’s promoter Frank Warren confirmed the 35-year-old is now the WBO’s new mandatory challenger to face the winner of Joshua or Usyk.


Joe Joyce wants to face Anthony Joshua or Oleksandr Usyk at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium

Frank Warren took to Twitter insisting Joyce wants to ‘invite Joshua or Usyk to his patch’


And Joyce wants Joshua or Usyk to swap Tottenham’s stadium for a fight at their rivals ground – his beloved Arsenal – if his dream fight materialises.

Alongside a picture of Joyce donning the new Arsenal shirt outside the Emirates, Warren wrote on Twitter: ‘When they’re done with Spurs, The Juggernaut would like to invite Anthony Joshua or Oleksander Usyk to his patch… Let’s GO!’

But Joyce’s focus for now remains on what’s immediately in front of him – and that is Carlos Takam at Wembley Arena this weekend.

‘I have to deal with what is in front of me,’ Joyce told BT Sport after he was confirmed as the WBO mandatory challenger. 

‘I can’t be thinking too far ahead because that is when you end up getting caught.

Joshua will face Ukrainian Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25

‘So you have to deal with what is in front of you and then you can move onto bigger and better things.’

Meanwhile, after Joshua’s Battle of Britain fight with Tyson Fury collapsed, AJ has managed to excite fans again after announcing his mandatory defence against Usyk.

‘The date is set and we are fully locked in,’ Joshua, who toured Tottenham’s stadium prior to Tuesday’s announcement, said. ‘I put it all on the line again and it’s time to defend my crown.

‘We are two Olympic Gold medallists who have fought our way to the top and never avoided challenges.’ 

Spurs’ new 60,000-seater stadium was due to host Joshua’s fight with Kubrat Pulev last year until the coronavirus crisis forced the bout indoors to Wembley Arena, in front of only 1,000 supporters. 

Usyk will be out to spoil Joshua’s party in London in just over two months time

He returns to London for his fifth stadium fight and fans will see Joshua following in the footsteps of former British fighter Frank Bruno, who defeated Joe Bugner in Matchroom Boxing’s first heavyweight promotion at the old White Hart Lane in October 1987.

‘The stadium is exceptional, the atmosphere will be electric,’ Joshua added. 

‘I’m honoured to be the first person to fight in such an awe inspiring venue. The stage is set and I am ready to handle business.’

Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, has been handling negotiations with Usyk and his team in recent months and was left delighted to get everything signed on Tuesday.

‘Olympic Gold vs. Olympic Gold, Unified World Heavyweight Champion vs. Undisputed Cruiserweight World Champion,’ Hearn said. 

‘This one has it all and I can’t wait to stage this huge event in front of over 60,000 at the stunning Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25.’ 


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