Anthony Joshua could yet defend his International Boxing Federation world heavyweight title at Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium, promoter Barry Hearn said on Monday.
Hearn said he was talking to Chinese officials about a contest involving the 26-year-old Joshua, who won his version of the heavyweight crown when he defeated previous title-holder Charles Martin in London last month.
Hearn said that were everything to go according to his schedule, Joshua could fight China’s 2008 Olympic silver medalist Zhang Zhilei in Beijing. Zhang is unbeaten in eight professional contests since basing himself in Las Vegas.
If the plans become reality it would mean Joshua, a gold medalist at the London 2012 Olympics, fighting in the stadium that was the centerpiece of the 2008 Games.
“When you plan someone’s career like Joshua you tend to plan in advance and I think we’re two years away from saying we can sell out the Bird’s Nest in China,” explained Hearn to Shanghai Daily.
Joshua will make the first defense of his title against Dominic Breazeale, like Martin an American, in London next month.