The biggest domestic draw in British boxing, Anthony Joshua, could be forced to have his next fight behind closed doors. Three years ago, there were 90,000 fans to watch him overcome Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium. He was scheduled to defend his WBO, IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight titles against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on June 20th at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The event was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
At the moment, December 12 at the O2 Arena is the target date and location. Currently, there is far from a guarantee that any fans will be permitted to attend the event. Joshua has been out of the ring since December 2019, when he traveled to Saudi Arabia to reclaim his world titles with a dominant decision win over Andy Ruiz.
The British star is very motivated to fight before the year is out. He wants to avoid the scenario of waiting until 2021 to make his return. Anthony hasn’t boxed for a year and the ultimate thing is he needs to progress his career, Hearn told BBC Radio 5 Live. He wants to learn, he wants to fight, he wants to be active and we live in a world now where you can’t wait.
You’ve got two options: you either sit and wait – and that includes Anthony Joshua maybe until next year, or you get out there and you fight, you earn your money, you learn your craft and you continue to battle through it. We hope that there is some sunshine over the hill with this whole nightmare. We are not prepared to sit tight and wait and we have said in these schedules, fans or no fans, our fights will be taking place.