Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua of Britain has sustained a left knee injury that will have him out of training for the short-term. However, it’s not expected to further delay his upcoming latest title defense against IBF number one contender Kubrat Pulev for later this year.
Boxing insider, Mike Coppinger, of the Athletic reported first Saturday afternoon the Joshua had sustained a left knee injury while running in training recently:
Source: Anthony Joshua needs 4-6 weeks of rest before he can resume training after suffering a left knee injury while running. He’s currently in a brace and was seen on crutches. No ligament tears, unlikely to affect title defense vs. Kubrat Pulev slated for around November pic.twitter.com/WrepKJzwn5
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) June 6, 2020
Joshua participated in a racial injustice march/protest in Watford, England, earlier Saturday and was shown in photos (like above) with his left knee braced, while on crutches.
He was last in the ring in December, when he recaptured the WBA, WBO and IBF titles with a 12-round rematch decision over American Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia. That victory avenged Joshua’s humiliating defeat in his U.S. debut, where he had been stopped by Ruiz on a 7th round TKO last June.
Joshua 23-1, 21 KOs, and Pulev were to have fought in June at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London prior to the Covid-19 pandemic that shut down all of sports.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has repeatedly maintained that the rescheduled fight between Joshua and the 38 year old Bulgarian contender will be had somewhere where fans can watch with social distancing guidelines.
That may necessitate that the bout take place outside of the United Kingdom and perhaps, Hearn and Joshua would elect to fight for large money guarantee, even without a large crowd, in the Middle East again.
There is also strong sentiment in Britain for a possible Joshua showdown with newly crowned WBC champ, Tyson Fury. For now, Fury is still obligated to fight former champ Deontay Wilder for a third time, also later this year.
That is, unless Wilder agrees to take a large pay off to “step aside” from the rematch clause in the contract from their second fight. That was won by Fury on 7th round TKO in February.
For now, we wait for the official update on when Joshua can resume training? And, will it further delay a Pulev fight into next year.