MX23RW : Sunday, October 25 05:38:49| >> :600:3349292:3349292:

Anthony Joshua, Kubrat Pulev battle could take place behind closed doors

Anthony Joshua, Kubrat Pulev battle could take place behind closed doors
© Reuters
The Briton was due to defend his heavyweight titles against Kubrat Pulev in June, which is now understood to be pencilled in for December 12 at the O2 Arena.

Anthony Joshua's next fight could take place behind closed doors as the world heavyweight champion's promoter Eddie Hearn said: "You can't afford to sit and wait for what might be."

Joshua, who drew in the biggest post-war British boxing crowd of 90,000 for his win over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley three years ago, had been due to face Kubrat Pulev in June at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

That plan was scuppered by the coronavirus pandemic and it is understood December 12 at the O2 Arena has been pencilled in for Joshua to defend his WBA, IBF and WBO titles against his mandatory challenger.

Anthony Joshua, left, last fought nine months ago when he beat Andy Ruiz Jr in their rematch (Nick Potts/PA)
Anthony Joshua, left, last fought nine months ago when he beat Andy Ruiz Jr in their rematch (Nick Potts/PA)

The ongoing public health crisis and a national spike in cases recently means the government's initial plan to gradually allow spectators to return to sporting events from October 1 is currently under review.

However, as Joshua's most recent fight was last December, when he regained his world titles by avenging his defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr in their rematch in Saudi Arabia, it seems his date with Pulev will not be postponed again.

"Anthony hasn't boxed for a year and the ultimate thing is he needs to progress his career," Hearn told BBC Radio 5 Live. "He wants to learn, he wants to fight, he wants to be active and we live in a world now where you can't wait.

"You've got two options: you either sit and wait – and that includes Anthony Joshua – maybe until next year, or you get out there and you fight, you earn your money, you learn your craft and you continue to battle through it.

Eddie Hearn would be reluctant to postpone Joshua-Pulev again (Nick Potts/PA)
Eddie Hearn would be reluctant to postpone Joshua-Pulev again (Nick Potts/PA)

"We hope that there is some sunshine over the hill with this whole nightmare.

"We are not prepared to sit tight and wait and we have said in these schedules, fans or no fans, our fights will be taking place.

"If you're a business, if you're a sport, you can't afford to sit and wait for what might be."

ID:414546:cQx

Click here for more stories about Anthony Joshua

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Former Wales boss Gary Speed pictured in September 2011
Read Next:
Tuesday's sporting social: Former clubs pay tribute to Gary Speed
>
Latest Sports Video