Anthony Joshua would one day like to defend his unified heavyweight crown in Dublin.
The WBA, IBF, and WBO champion of the world, who like Dillian Whyte and Tyson Fury, has Irish connections and is hopeful he can one day trade leather on these shores.
The London-born fighter is one-quarter Irish, with his paternal grandmother hailing from Ireland, meeting Joshua’s Nigerian grandfather in England, and later relocating to the African country.
The popular big man was scheduled to fight at the National Stadium a number of years ago but Irish fight fans didn’t get to see the Olympic gold medal winner in the flesh as a pro as the original Return of the Mack card was postponed.
Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn hasn’t looked to keen on Dublin ventures of late having promised numerous Katie Taylor homecomings only to put them on the long finger.
Katie Taylor’s manager Brian Peters has numerous times suggested, tongue-in-cheek, that a Joshua v Fury card, along with Katie Taylor, would pack Croke Park and that could tempt Matchroom and Sky Sports to travel across the Irish sea.
Regardless, Joshua who now seems based between London and Wembley Stadium and Cardiff and the Principality Stadium in terms of fighting is hopeful he can fight in Ireland one day.
“I have fought in Ireland before and it would be class to be part of a world title fight in Dublin,” Joshua told the Irish Independent at a Lucozade Fitwater event yesterday.
“Guinness all around and everyone having a great time. Maybe we could make it happen. I have Irish connections in my family and the people I have grown up around in boxing have Irish connections. It would be great to put on a show in Ireland so hopefully we can make it happen.”
A Joshua-Taylor double act certainly looks a ticket selling dream and, while it remains an extreme outside bet, the most optimistic of fight fans will be hopeful that Croke Park will host boxing for the first time since Muhammad Ali defeated Al ‘Blue’ Lewis in 1972.
In terms of Taylor, Joshua is a genuine fan.
“Katie is phenomenal,” he continued. “She has done so many great things as an amateur and they say that the amateur and the pros are different, but she has managed to cross over to the professional ranks really easily, showing her skills.
“I don’t like say it’s women’s boxing and try to keep it separate from men’s. It’s not like that. It’s boxing as a whole and she is very much a part of that story now.
“Katie has a whole different following, people coming over from Ireland to watch her and it’s great for the sport. She is ticking all the boxes for promoting boxing and is a great role model for women as well.”