Barry Hearn wants to take Anthony Joshua to China to give him global platform

Published 2 Comments

Football News

Anthony Joshua could defend his IBF world heavyweight title in the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing under ambitious plans being made by promoter Barry Hearn.

Hearn has confirmed he is in talks with Chinese officials over staging a bout involving the 26-year-old, who ripped his portion of the crown from American Charles Martin last month.

Hearn, head of the Matchroom organisation with whom Joshua signed after winning gold at the 2012 Olympics, said taking Joshua to China is part of his plan to turn him into a global superstar.

Hearn told Press Association Sport: "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.

"I think Joshua's going to be a global figure, and therefore I've got to give him a global platform. I was in Shanghai last week and we were talking. As soon as you show people pictures of Joshua knocking someone out, they get excited."

Joshua will make the first defence of his title against another American, Dominic Breazeale, in London next month, which is likely to raise anticipation for a prospective unification bout with Tyson Fury.

But Hearn said he hoped a prospective bout in China could involve 2008 Olympic silver medallist Zhang Zhilei, who has built an unbeaten professional record of eight fights since basing himself in Las Vegas.

Hearn added: "He's a heavyweight who is almost 7ft tall and we could do it with a pay-per-view audience of tens of millions of Chinese people watching it. Sometimes these things don't happen because people get beaten, but our job is about creating these kinds of moments."

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:


Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again