Anthony Joshua’s showdown with Kubrat Pulev will have a venue within three weeks, according to Bulgarian’s manager. AJ was scheduled to defend his heavyweight titles against Pulev on June 20 at Tottenham’s new ground.
But the coronavirus has meant the bout – and all boxing in the UK – has been postponed.
And with elite sport yet to get the go ahead to resume in the UK a foreign venue is now the most likely for the heavyweight clash.
The UK is also set to introduce quarantine measures for new arrivals at the start of June, making the UK and unlikely host.
The Middle East could be an option while Croatia are keen to host it. Another option could even be Turkey with the FA president claiming they were still planning to host the Champions League final in Istanbul in August.
And Pulev’s manager believes a decision will be made in the coming weeks.
“We’ve given ourselves four weeks to explore any and all opportunities that are there for the fight,” Gotsev told Sky Sports.
“Eddie [Hearn] has spoken to you about the Middle East, which is a great possibility. It makes sense, because those countries were not as hard affected and if you take the right precautions, we could really have a safe environment.
“That’s something I want to emphasise, and I can’t say it enough times – safety first. We don’t want to take a risk against anyone’s health, no way, no how.
“Whatever makes most sense, wherever we can have the best conditions under the current terms we’re living in, that’s where we’re going to go in.
“There you have it, we have about three more weeks left on the exploring and then we’ll see where the best options lie.”
One problem around hosting in the UK is the ban on fans, which could remain in place until September, with Bob Arum stating the fight will have to take place abroad.
He told Bad Left Hook: “[There will be] No step aside for Pulev.
“I talked to Eddie Hearn [Saturday] morning about Joshua vs Pulev.
“It looks like it can’t be the UK, because there couldn’t be spectators. There looks like there are a couple other possibilities.
“It’s probably not gonna take place until later this year. And definitely not the UK. Also, for Fury versus Wilder, that’s looking like the fourth quarter.”
Meanwhile UFC did return this weekend, with UFC 249 held behind closed doors in Florida with Justin Gaethje beating Tony Ferguson.
Published at Mon, 11 May 2020 10:15:00 +0000