Eddie Hearn Provides An Update On A Date For Anthony Joshua Vs. Kubrat Pulev
Recently, it was reported that Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev will face off sometime in December. The mandatory challenger for the IBF Heavyweight Title in Pulev will finally fight the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight Champion in Joshua following an initial 2017 bout getting nixed.
Does Matchroom Boxing have a plan in mind for when in December it would take place? Hearn spoke with The Mirror about working the bout around the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury trilogy bout. The fight for Fury’s WBC Heavyweight Title is expected to be in late December. With Fury and Joshua agreeing in principle to fight one another in 2021, Hearn is looking to sync the fighters up.
“It looks like Fury-Wilder is December 19, so we will most likely go on December 5 or 12, to give ourselves as much time as possible,” Hearn stated. “He (Joshua) would probably go the end of October or middle of November, but for the sake of three or four weeks, you are only going to box once this year.”
The bout between Joshua and Pulev was supposed to take place inside Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in June but was postponed due to the coronavirus. November was when the two were meant to fight, but a location has not been revealed yet. Hearn is hoping for an arena in the UK with fans, like Royal Albert Hall, The O2, or Olympia. Pulev’s team mentioned Croatia as an option.
Matchroom’s promoter is also looking into other areas that are safe and make sense. He is currently producing “Matchroom Fight Camp” events in Essex. Due to COVID-19, however, it is unknown how it would all work out.
“I am in discussions with somewhere, it is not dissimilar to [UFC] Fight Island,” Hearn went on to say. “At the moment, anywhere in the world has a problem. Even territories like, using an example, Saudi Arabia. They were due to hold major events this year, but at the moment they are not looking to do that until early next year because they are not quite in a position to do so.”
Even if the fights would be one week after the other, both Joshua and Fury would have other issues to worry about. Interim WBC Heavyweight Champion Dillian Whyte is expected to face the winner of Wilder v. Fury as he has a February 2021 deadline for a fight. If Oleksandr Usyk can beat Dereck Chisora, with the fight now reportedly set for October, the former cruiserweight champion would most likely face the winner of Joshua v. Pulev. This is according to the WBO.
Joshua hasn’t fought since December in Saudi Arabia. He has been out of action due to a knee injury and requires a few weeks of rehabbing before he is ready to go. Pulev hasn’t fought since November. Hearn is hoping the layoff won’t affect Joshua (23-1) or Pulev (28-1), and that the former can end up securing a win to bring future plans forward.
“He (Joshua) should have been out in June and now he will have been out for a year,” Hearn stated. “When you talk to him and [coach] Robert McCracken, he’s not suffering for a few quid, so he needs to progress his career in the right way and more importantly prepare for the Tyson Fury fight.
“Pulev, coming off a year lay-off, is really good preparation, in my opinion, for Tyson Fury. Not stylistically, but just to get in with a big heavyweight, get that big momentum, hopefully score a big knockout and move forward into that fight in 2021.”