Eddie Hearn said on Wednesday that IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s title defense against his IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev has now been moved to December.
Eddie wants to stage it at the O2 Arena in London, England, in front of fans. The U.K. government will determine the size of the crowd, but, likely; there won’t be more than 2,000 fans.
The latest move for Joshua-Pulev is the third, as they were initially scheduled for June 20, and then July 25, and not sometime in December. You have to believe that we’ll continue to see the fight pushed further back in hopes of a vaccine being created and given to the public in the U.K.
It’s less of a problem for Joshua’s fight against Pulev being continually pushed back as it is for WBC champion Tyson Fury and his rematch with Deontay Wilder.
Fury’s WBC mandatory Dillian Whyte is waiting to challenge for his title in February of next year, and he won’t be happy if the Fury-Wilder 3 fight gets pushed into 2021 to take advantage of crowds potentially being allowed back in by then.
Joshua (23-1, 21 K.O.s) is starting his training camp now, according to Hearn. He’s not concentrating on a fight with Fury, as some believe to be the case. Instead, A.J. is 100% locked in on his title defense against the 6’4 1/2″ Pulev (28-1 14 K.O.s).
Fury (30-0-1, 21 K.O.s) has his own problems in needing to beat former WBC heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder, in December. Fury stopped Wilder in the seventh round last February, but there’s controversy about whether Deontay was hurt by rabbit punches thrown by ‘The Gypsy King’ throughout their fight.
One major downside in Hearn pushing the Joshua vs. Pulev fight to December is it’s going to be sharing the money with the Fury-Wilder III fight. What that means for some boxing fans is that they’ll need pay a lot of money to watch boxing in December, and it’s unknown whether they’ll have the funds to do so.
Many people are still unemployed in the U.S. and the U.K., and they might be needy and no in the position to dump loads of cash into two glorified mismatches. I mean, Wilder has very little chance of beating Fury in December, and the same goes for 39-year-old Pulev. He’s too old, slow and weak to have much of a chance of beating
Joshua recently recaptured his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles last December in beating Andy Ruiz Jr by a 12 round decision in Saudi Arabia.
Former world title challenger Pulev was supposed to challenge Joshua for his titles in 2018, but he suffered a shoulder injury and had to pull out of the fight. Pulev was replaced by Carlos Takam, who Joshua knocked out.