Oscar De La Hoya has offered to make Anthony Joshua a star in the United States, as one of heavyweight boxing’s most exciting talents prepares for the biggest fight of his career this weekend.
IBF champion Joshua takes on Wladimir Klitschko for the vacant WBA (Super) and IBO belts – as well as the defence of his own title – in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
All 19 of Joshua’s fights to date – including his clash with Klitschko – have been staged in his native United Kingdom, but, as an increasingly marketable figure in the sport, Golden Boy Promotions founder De La Hoya is keen to take the 27-year-old Stateside.
“I like Anthony Joshua, I think he’s a terrific fighter,” De La Hoya told Omnisport of Joshua, who is signed to Matchroom Sport. “He can become a world-class heavyweight, a world champion and one of the greatest if he keeps up what he’s doing.
“I see on social platforms and social media that he’s working out and he’s a disciplined fighter, a likeable guy.
“I know Anthony Joshua has a promoter in the UK, but if he ever needs the best promoter in the world today, Golden Boy Promotions is right here to help him out here in the United States.
“I would be honoured to promote Anthony Joshua here in the United States of America, where obviously the Mecca of boxing Las Vegas and New York is.
“This is where he should be fighting to make those big bucks that fighters always want to make.”
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) April 22, 2017
De La Hoya believes this weekend’s bout with Klitschko is pivotal to Joshua’s chances of making a name for himself in the States.
“There’s a protocol when becoming a world-class athlete, a champion,” he added. “You have to beat several big-name fighters and this fight here with Klitschko is going to be a very important one, probably the most important of his entire career.
“Because if he beats Klitschko – and he has to beat him decisively, has to be impressive, he has to go out there and knock him out and show the world that he is the heavyweight champion of the world – if he does that, then he makes it here with no problem in the US.”
Joshua has won all 18 of his career fights by knockout and most recently retained the IBF title against Eric Molina in Manchester in December.