SPORTS 

Hearn fancies ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ for Joshua

Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed that preliminary conversations have been held regarding taking an Anthony Joshua fight to the Stade Tata Raphaël in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the stadium which hosted the legendary ‘Rumble in the Jungle’.

Hearn, group managing director of Match-room Sports, said that world heavyweight champion Joshua “wants to create a legacy in the sport”, and is interested in fighting in the venue made famous by the bout between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in 1974.

“It’s probably the most famous venue, or fight, of all time,” said Hearn, adding that the government of the DRC is “looking to regenerate the stadium” and that having a hand in helping the country to do so would be “career-defining” for Joshua.

“When you look at the resume, he’s boxed everywhere you can – in the UK, at Madison Square Garden, Saudi Arabia,” Hearn said. “To put Africa, China and the Far East on the resume, that’s when you get to global star status. He has no interest in that but he wants to create history.”

The original Rumble in the Jungle was intended to show off the country – then known as Zaire – to the world as a tourist destination, but decades of political instability and civil war hampered its development.

The DRC remains troubled, ranked 176th out of 187 countries on the Human Development Index and 168th out of 180 by the Corruption Perceptions Index, and would represent a controversial choice of venue for Joshua.

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