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Rumble in the Jungle II? Hearn reveals talks over ‘iconic’ Joshua fight in Africa

Discussions have been held over Anthony Joshua heading to Africa for what Eddie Hearn says would be an “iconic” fight, potentially to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rumble in the Jungle.

Muhammad Ali defeated the previously unbeaten George Foreman in the all-time classic bout on October 30, 1974, scoring an eighth-round knockout to become undisputed heavyweight champion.

The 50th anniversary of that event, held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Zaire), is approaching next year and Hearn says conversations have taken place regarding the best way to mark it.

On Friday, Hearn said Joshua – who has Nigerian ancestry – could be involved in a huge fight on the continent to celebrate the occasion.

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“It’s something that would be iconic for the sport,” Hearn told the BBC. “When we’re visiting these countries, there’s government funding to stage these events.

“Sometimes that isn’t forthcoming in all areas but there have been discussions and I think it will happen in time.

“With that anniversary approaching, we’ve often talked about a big Anthony Joshua fight, even revisiting the famous scenes in Zaire of the Rumble in the Jungle.

“We’ve had a couple of approaches. Obviously, Anthony Joshua, with his Nigerian descent, is always keen to visit and stage a major event there.

“Visually, it would be incredible and something Anthony would love to tick off before the end of his career.”


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Joshua will return to the ring to face Otto Wallin on December 23, with Deontay Wilder co-headlining the event in Saudi Arabia when he faces Joseph Parker.

Many expect Joshua and Wilder to finally face off next year if they win those respective bouts, though Hearn says a meeting with Francis Ngannou – who almost stunned Tyson Fury on his professional boxing debut last month – could also soon be on the cards for Joshua.

Asked if the Cameroonian-French mixed martial artist was a viable opponent for Joshua, Hearn said: “All of a sudden, that fight between two giants becomes a massive fight. We’re definitely willing to consider it.”

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