The challenger says his heavyweight title shot is postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak, but there’s nothing official from the champ or the promoter about the Anthony Joshua – Kubrat Pulev Unified Championship fight scheduled for June 20th.
Pulev was quoted by European media in a brief statement Thursday evening that the fight will not happen for Tottenham Hotspur Stadium just north of London on that June Saturday night. And, the 38 year old Bulgarian sounded an ominous warning about when it might be rescheduled:
Joshua vs Pulev postponed due to coronavirus, claims Bulgarian https://t.co/a6w9Jt9Rpw
— Indy Sport (@IndySport) March 19, 2020
“It is impossible for the fight to take place on June 20, although I am ready,” Pulev said. “The match will take place a few months later, perhaps towards the end of the year.”
That “end of the year” part has boxing fans and media, alike buzzing about whether the first title defense for the Englishman Joshua since regaining his belts from American Andy Ruiz, will happen at all.
Meanwhile, it’s important that Pulev’s statement has gone as of yet on confirmed by Joshua’s camp or bigger by Matchroom Boxing and promoter Eddie Hearn Thursday afternoon, U.S. time.
Hear us discuss more about the postponements and whether Joshua-Pulev will come off on our Big Fight Weekend podcast by clicking below:
Hearn had suggested Wednesday, when Matchroom announced that their fight cards through the end of April had been cancelled due to Covid-19, that the fight may be moved to a July date and remain at the soccer stadium. However, it is currently complicated by the fact that the English Premier League is on hold and it won’t be known for some time, as to when Tottenham Hotspur will begin playing games again there and what their new June/July schedule might be?
Pulev, 28-1, and ranked number one IBF contender despite not having beaten a significant opponent in the last three years. He challenged for the Heavyweight Title once before, losing on a 12-round decision to then Undisputed Champion, Wladimir Klitschko, in 2014. He has won his eight fights since, mostly against nondescript competition.
Joshua, who is massively popular in the U.K. also has a mandatory WBO title defense to reconcile with their #1 contender, unbeaten Oleksandr Usyk. Usyk, for now, is scheduled to fight English contender, big punching Dereck Chisora on May 23rd at London’s O2 Arena.
However, that fight may be postponed, soon, too.