Kubrat Pulev has revealed he doesn’t expect his showdown with Anthony Joshua to go ahead as scheduled. Bulgaria’s Pulev is tentatively slated to challenge Joshua for the unified heavyweight titles at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.
Their showdown, however, is currently in major doubt due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has laid wreaked havoc with the global sporting calendar.
Last month, the British Boxing Board of Control cancelled all events under their jurisdiction and revealed they’d make a decision on future shows in April.
The COVID-19 outbreak has already led to Tyson Fury’s trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder – which was due to take place in Las Vegas on July 18 – being postponed until October.
Matchroom Boxing already have a contingency plan in place should Joshua’s clash with Pulev not be able to go ahead as planned, reserving use of Tottenham’s stadium on July 25.
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I strongly believe that a world title match can be held on the new date of July 25
Kubrat Pulev on his unified heavyweight title fight against Anthony Joshua
And given the current situation, Pulev believes his long-awaited showdown with ‘AJ’ will end up taking place in July.
“Despite humanity’s most difficult fight to date and the underestimation of the effects on the world of the coronavirus,” the two-time world title challenger said.
“We will be forced to learn to live in a new, not so pleasant, way that millions of people around the world will be mildly unhappy.
“Despite the difficulties, we must find new opportunities to smile, to transform our lives so that despite all the unpleasant things, to remain happy and to believe in a better future, and that all of this is, after all, for good!
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“This is exactly why, despite my real view of the situation, I strongly believe that a world title match can be held on the new date of July 25.”
Pulev’s latest comments on his clash with Joshua, who he was first scheduled to face in October 2017, echo those he made late last month.
“It is impossible for the fight to take place on 20 June, although I am ready,” Pulev said.
“The match will take place a few months later, perhaps towards the end of the year.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is well aware that the COVID-19 outbreak could lead to the fight between postponed until after July and is currently in the process of drawing up further contingency plans.
“We have looked at alternative dates for everything without knowing anything concrete,” he said during an appearance on talkSPORT.
“We have ongoing conversations with Tottenham to say that if the Premier League extends and does get played in June then we’ll be pushed back.
“We do have a date of July 25 held at Spurs as well, which is more realistic. It is five weeks after June 20.
“But we haven’t gone on sale with that, we haven’t made an official announcement in terms of seat details and on-sale dates, so we have got less pressure on that.
“There is more pressure for Anthony to fight twice this year. I know there is a bigger picture going on but everybody in sport, eveybody in business right now, needs to be working on a solution.
“The outcome, what happens when we get through this because it is going to be a horrifically messy time for all businesses, all sports, everything, when we do come out the other side.
“The world won’t be the same again and, in a lot of cases, we will have to start from scratch.”
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