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Covid-19 Forces Postponement of Joshua vs Pulev Heavyweight Showdown

Credit BBC/Getty Images

By Segun Precious

The much anticipated heavyweight boxing title match between Anthony Joshua and Dubrat Pulev initially scheduled for London on 20 June has been postponed to a later date.

Joshua was expected to defend his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO world titles against Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

A statement from Joshua’s promoter Matchroom Boxing said a new date for the fight “was being worked on”.

Matchroom added it was “continuing to explore the possibility” of hosting the bout at the same venue at a later date.

Joshua, 30, has not fought since December, when he gained a unanimous points victory over Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia to regain his belts after losing to the American-Mexican in New York last June.

Pulev, 38, is the mandatory challenger to Joshua’s IBF belt. He was scheduled to fight Joshua in October 2017 at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium but had to withdraw less than two weeks before the bout because of a shoulder injury.

All fights overseen by the British Boxing Board of Control until the end of May have been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Promoter Eddie Hearn had previously said Joshua v Pulev could be moved to July because of the uncertainty of when Tottenham’s remaining home Premier League matches would be played.

The statement from Matchroom Boxing comes shortly after the Premier League announced that the football season would be suspended indefinitely.

Covid-19 Global Update

About 60,000 deaths have now been recorded from Covid-19 globally. The infection rate has now also risen above a million people. Italy tops the death chart with over 13,000 fatalities while Spain is second with more than 10,000 deaths.

In Nigeria, a third victim has died after failing to give accurate reports of his medical history. The 55-year old returnee from the Netherlands died of a heart attack from Covid-19 complications. He had a history of a kidney transplant and was on diabetes drugs.

He hid the case and did not report on time and was too late when he got to LUTH.

Six people also reported escaped from the isolation centre in Osun State snd the National Centre for Disease Control warned the residents to be on the alert. Nigeria currently has 191 cases with 25 discharged and three deaths.

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