Boxing

Arsenal and Tottenham to battle it out for Anthony Joshua against Kubrat Pulev

Eddie Hearn has admitted Arsenal have made a move to poach Anthony Joshua's clash with Kubrat Pulev from rivals Tottenham.

And the Matchroom promoter is welcoming a North London race to land the June fight for the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles.

Starsport revealed last week that the Emirates Stadium had overtaken Tottenham's new ground as the most likely venue for Joshua's next outing.

It is understood staff at the home of the Gunners have been advised they will be needed to work this summer at a major event.

Hearn claims the race is still on though after revealing a deal is now agreed “in principle” with the Bulgarian to travel to the UK.

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The fight will take place on either June 13 or 20 at one of the two North London football stadiums.

He said: “Terms are, I’d not say agreed, but we’re in a good position.

“We have an agreement in principle for a June fight.

“Spurs is our preference and now Arsenal have come in.

“When you go to other countries, like in the Middle East, you have Saudi Arabia, they hear Abu Dhabi or Qatar are looking at a fight.

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“Well now it’s like Spurs and Arsenal.”

And Hearn has challenged Arsenal not to be left behind by Tottenham, who already have deals in place for other major sports such as NFL.

“It’s not been done before at Arsenal, but I don’t see why not,” added Hearn.

“If you want to establish yourself as a sports entertainment destination, it’s a pretty big coup to get this fight.

“It’s the north London race for this fight. Tottenham is our preference, but we’re talking to Arsenal and they’ve come in and said, ‘How do we make this happen?’.

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“I get the feeling that Arsenal and the Emirates would quite like to nick this. It would be like a little one-upmanship for them.

“Emirates was such a revolutionary stadium, but almost feels old now. It’s quite interesting.”

Joshua's promoter has also claimed his man has taken a huge pay cut to return to the UK after snubbing offers from around the world which would have made the clash with his IBF mandatory challenger more lucrative.

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He added: “Joshua is fighting Pulev and taking a massive pay cut to fight here. We’ve had offers from Nigeria, DR Congo, the Middle East, from America and he said ‘no, I want to fight here’.

“It is a big difference fighting abroad. But he just said he’s boxed in the Middle East, he’s boxed in America, we should do this one here and he’s right.”

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