Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev date: Latest news for heavyweight title fight
Anthony Joshua is still set to face Kubrat Pulev in their rearranged world heavyweight title match this December, Eddie Hearn has said.
The Brit was set to face his IBF mandatory challenger in June before a proposed clash with Tyson Fury to crown an undisputed heavyweight champion.
However, the COVID-19 lockdown saw the fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium scrapped and postponed indefinitely.
Yet Joshua told fans in August that they are in for a Christmas cracker during his commentary for Dillian Whyte’s defeat to Alexander Povetkin.
He told Sky Sports: “There’s a potential date in December. I’d fight today, but we’ve got to wait till December.”
Promoter Hearn has confirmed that Joshua v Pulev is all set to go ahead on at The O2 Arena on Saturday, December 12.
The fight is expected to be held without fans but Hearn said: “Obviously [the COVID restrictions] are a massive challenge for everyone in sport.
“Our intention now is carry on with all our scheduled events. Clearly the finances are affected by not having crowds, even smaller crowds, but we’re working to keep our schedule. That includes Joshua.
“You have two options – cancel or go ahead, quite possibly without a crowd. You’d still hope that by December you might have some back but you can’t plan on that now.
“We’ll go ahead in December for Joshua because it’s been a year since he fought Andy Ruiz and he needs to fight.”
Hearn has also said ‘extra precautions’ are being taken to make sure the title fight goes ahead.
He added: “Kubrat Pulev will be making his way to London shortly, sooner than we think, and he will be entering the bubble weeks in advance.
“A lot of these top heavyweights and these guys who are earning considerable purses are being constantly tested on a daily basis.
“You look at Derek Chisora, I think he was getting tested every other day. We will bring Pulev here. Every international fighter has to be tested before they travel, and we will make sure he’s in the bubble, in an enclosed environment, because you just can’t risk it.
“Normally on fight week, you get a five or 10 per cent chance that a fight could fall through. Here it’s 50-50, for every fight.
“When you talk about a fight of that size, you have to take extra precautions and that will be making sure both guys are in a bubble, nice and early, and are locked away under strict surveillance to make sure that they’re good to go for fight night.”
Joshua vs Pulev: Tale of the tape
Joshua – Pulev
Nationality: British – Bulgarian
Age: 31 – 39
Height: 6ft 6 – 6ft 4
Stance: Orthodox – Orthodox
Reach: 82in – 79in
Record: 23-1-0 – 28-1-0
KOs: 21 – 14
Rounds: 103 – 203
Debut: 10/05/2013 – 19/9/2009
Nickname: AJ – The Cobra