Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title fight against Kubrat Pulev on June 20, could be moved to July, says promoter Eddie Hearn.
The 30-year-old Briton is due to defend his WBA, WBO and IBF belts at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
“We do have a potential date in July but, right now, we are hoping June 20 can remain the date,” Matchroom Boxing’s Hearn told Sky Sports. Bulgarian Pulev, 38, is the mandatory IBF challenger to take on Joshua.
With the uncertainty around when the remaining games in domestic football will be completed because of the coronavirus outbreak, and the possibility the season could extend into the summer months, Hearn said he has had conversations with Tottenham to “make sure we’re all on the same page”.
“We know we have the same strategy moving forward,” added Hearn. “Obviously the Premier League decision will play a big part in a number of sports. Plans to put new dates in place and that fight as well.”
Joshua won the WBA, WBO and IBF belts back with a unanimous points victory over Andy Ruiz Jr last December.
If the fight with Pulev does go ahead, it will be Joshua’s first bout in the United Kingdom since beating Alexander Povetkin at Wembley in September 2018.
He was initially due to fight Pulev at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in October 2017 but the Bulgarian withdrew after suffering a shoulder injury in sparring, with Carlos Takam stepping in to replace him at 12 days’ notice. Further boxing events postponed. Hearn also confirmed that all Matchroom Boxing cards in March and April have now been postponed, following on from the British Boxing Board of Control’s decision to postpone all public boxing events under their jurisdiction, a decision the sport’s governing body will review again next month.
Sunderland welterweight Josh Kelly’s European title fight against Russia’s David Avanesyan on March 28, is now off and Newcastle’s Lewis Ritson, due to fight Mexican Miguel Vazquez on April 4, has had his bout moved to June 27.
Doncaster’s Terri Harper was set to defend her WBC super-featherweight against Natasha Jonas from Liverpool on April 24, but this has also been put back to June.
The British heavyweight title fight between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce on April 11 at the O2 Arena has now been rescheduled to July 11, with promoters Queensbury promotions saying it would be “inappropriate” to proceed with any events for the next two months.
Anthony Yarde’s light-heavyweight bout against the unbeaten Lyndon Arthur, due to take place on the Dubois-Joyce undercard, has also been moved to the new date. Josh Taylor’s defence of his WBA and IBF world titles against Thailand’s Apinun Khongsong has also been postponed, with a new date yet to be announced.BBC