by Linda Ikeji
Anthony Joshua will fight his mandatory IBF challenger Kubrat Pulev in December to defend his three world heavyweight titles, according to boxing promoter Eddie Hearn.
The pair were due to face each other at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20 but the coronavirus pandemic forced the clash to be canceled.
A new date for the clash has not to been announced yet but it’s likely going down in December with London’s O2 Arena as a possible location.
Speaking with ESPN, Hearn said: “We know AJ’s only going to fight once this year, so we want to give ourselves the best opportunity to bring in a crowd, and that would obviously be the later the better.”
“But it’s still not a gimme at all. There’s still a very strong chance that AJ will have to fight behind closed doors.
“Bearing in mind he’s only going to fight once this year, I just feel as we might as well give ourselves every chance to have a crowd and that will be the first weekend of December.
“Their regulations comply with the government, so at the moment they’re closed.
”So they would need to open up. We’d need to get an understanding from the government what is allowed in arenas. Are you going to open at 50 percent [capacity]? Are you going to open up 100 percent? There’s a lot of work that has to go into that with the government and the O2 (Arena).”
Joshua, 30, won back his WBA, WBO, and IBF world heavyweight titles when he beat Andy Ruiz Jr in their rematch in December 2019.
After his clash with Pulev clash, the British-Nigerian heavyweight champion will face WBC champion, Tyson Fury, in a British heavyweight showdown.