Heavyweight Title Bout: Coronavirus May Force Postponement of Joshua vs Pulev
By Segun Precious
The much-awaited world heavyweight title fight between Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev billed to hold on 20 June might be postponed to July.
According to promoter Eddie Hearn, the title bout has to be shifted as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging the world right now.
The 30-year-old Nigerian-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.
“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.
In the meantime, the Japanese government has confirmed that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics could suffer postponement due to Coronavirus. Though it is four months away, the pandemic could still be strong enough to prevent mass gatherings.
The International Olympic Committee has reiterated its commitment to the games to go ahead.