Spurs’ sleek home to host boxing greats’ bout



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Tottenham Stadium will host boxing fight Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has been officially confirmed as the venue for Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title clash with Oleksandr Usyk.

The ‘Evening Standard’ stated that over 60,000 fans are expected to descend at Spurs’ chic £1 billion home when Joshua defends his International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Organization (WBO), and International Boxing Organization (IBO) belts in N17 against his WBO mandatory challenger from Ukraine on September 25th, 2021.

Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua, OBE is a British professional boxer. He is a two-time unified world heavyweight champion, having held the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO titles since December 2019, and previously between 2016 and June 2019.

Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Usyk is a Ukrainian professional boxer. He reigned as the undisputed cruiserweight champion from 2018 until he vacated his titles in 2019, being the first cruiserweight in history to hold all four major world championships – the WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO titles.

The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is the home of Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur in North London (UK), replacing the club’s previous stadium, White Hart Lane. With a seating capacity of 62,850, it is the third-largest football stadium in England and the largest club stadium in London.

It will be the first fight to take place at the ground, which had originally been due to host Joshua’s last contest against the Bulgarian professional boxer Kubrat Pulev, but the same got delayed until December as COVID-19 ravaged the United Kingdom and was eventually switched to the 12,500-capacity Wembley Arena in London.

Joshua put in, “The date is set and we are fully locked in. September 25th, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, I put it all on the line again and it’s time to defend my crown. We are two Olympic Gold medalists who have fought our way to the top and never avoided challenges. The venue is exceptional, the atmosphere will be electric and I’m honored to be the first person to fight in such an awe-inspiring venue. The stage is set and I am ready to handle business.”

Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy said he was delighted with the agreement and for the chance to “once again showcase the stadium’s ability to take the hosting of world-class sporting occasions to the next level”.

Added Levy, “This is a huge occasion for Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Anthony Joshua is an icon in the world of sport and to have him fight here in London N17 (where the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium sits), against a top opponent in Oleksandr Usyk, will be amazing for the area of Tottenham. We cannot wait for September 25th.”

Joshua was initially supposed to face rival and the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in a blockbuster all-British undisputed showdown in Saudi Arabia on August 14th, but that plan was thwarted after an arbitration hearing ruled that Fury must face the American professional boxer Deontay Wilder for a third time instead.

Fury and Wilder were due to clash in Las Vegas on July 24th, only for the trilogy fight to be postponed until October 9th following a COVID-19 outbreak in Fury’s camp.

Usyk – like Joshua – a gold medalist at the London 2012 Olympics – is a former undisputed cruiserweight world champion who made the move up to the heavyweight ranks in 2019, beating Chazz Witherspoon in Chicago before outpointing Derek Chisora at Wembley Arena in October 2019.

The 34-year-old’s first fight on UK soil came in November 2018, when he stopped former English professional boxer Tony Bellew in the eighth round of a cruiserweight title showdown in Manchester.

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