British Nigerian boxer, Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title defense against a long time challenger, Kubrat Pulev will be pushed back again until at least October because of the COVID-19 crisis, his promoter has confirmed.
Recall this fight has been postponed earlier when Pulev was reported to suffer an injury just before their first match was set off.
On 28 August 2017, boxing enthusiasts celebrated the initial announcement that Joshua and Pulev would fight at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn made the official announcement on 5 September, “I’m delighted that we will be in Cardiff at the magnificent Principality Stadium for the next step of the AJ journey.
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The official press conference took place on 11 September 2017 and the following day, a reported 70,000 tickets had been sold, which made this the fastest-selling event. A record of largest boxing attendance to be expected indoors was also recorded as this shattered a previous record which was set by the rematch which featured Muhammad Ali vs. Leon Spinks and generated a crowd of about 63,000 fans at the New Orleans Superdome in 1978.
On 16 October 2017, rumors circulated that Joshua’s challenger, Pulev had suffered an injury, which could see the fight being in jeopardy.
Pulev’s camp had kept it quiet and it was also rumored that the injury was over 10 days old without knowledge of Joshua’s camp.
The match was put off since then allowing Pulev to make a recovery.
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March 2nd, 2020, both Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn and Top Rank’s Bob Arum officially announced Joshua and Pulev’s fight will be scheduled to hold at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on 20 June.
On 3 April 2020, an announcement was made that the fight had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that a new date for the fight was expected.
“With everything going on and the fact we have no idea yet about when we will be allowed crowds, and what size crowds, it won’t be the summer,” Hearn told the Daily Mail on Thursday.
“I think it will be in the window between October and December. Sooner would be better than later because we don’t want it to be a year between fights.”
Since beating Andy Ruiz to win the WBA, IBF, and WBO belts in Saudi Arabia in December last year, Joshua has not fought any match.