WBA, WBO, IBF heavyweight champion of the world Anthony Joshua is set to defend his title against Kubrat Pulev at the O2 Arena in London, England.
The pair were scheduled to fight in June earlier this year, but the fight had to be cancelled after Coronavirus cases started rising across Europe.
This will be Anthony Joshua’s first fight in the UK in nearly two-years. While the fight is taking place in the UK, it won’t feature fans who have become an integral part of boxing as far as Anthony Joshua is concerned. All of his last fights in the UK has had sold out Arenas and stadiums.
“December 12 is the date and once again the heavyweight belts go up in the air and it is my sole focus to make sure that come December 13 they are in their rightful place in the UK,” said Joshua.
“The O2 is the original lion’s den, I have a lot of history with the arena, but without the fans something huge is missing. I am really hoping that, safety permitting, we might be able to bring some boxing fans in, but we will have to see. I respect every opponent and I respect Pulev. I wish him well during his preparation.”
Eddie Hearn will be lobbying for fans to witness Anthony Joshua on December 12
Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said that he will be lobbying for fans to be able to return to the arena to watch their champion fight.
“After a challenging year for everyone, to end with the unified world heavyweight championship is very special.
“Over a year after regaining his crown, Anthony Joshua takes on yet another dangerous opponent in mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. AJ’s resume is unrivalled, and this is the final hurdle until we challenge for the undisputed crown next year.
“Whilst it’s unusual to think of an AJ fight without tens of thousands of fans in attendance, we will be doing everything we can to lobby for the safe return of fans to this event. We have to move forward together. I know Team Pulev and Bob Arum will be doing all they can to become world champion on December 12, but AJ constantly evolves and improves and I expect a dominant performance and a spectacular KO to close out 2020.”
This will be Joshua’s first fight at home following since September of 2018. Joshua’s last two fights took place in New York and Riyadh respectively. Last year he lost in a massive upset to Andy Ruiz in June at the Madison Square Garden. There he was knocked out in the seventh round.
Joshua eventually avenged his loss by dominating Andy Ruiz Jr in a rematch which took place in December of 2018. Pulev and Joshua were previously scheduled to fight in 2017 but the Bulgarian had to pull out of the fight. Following the pull-out, Joshua fought Carlos Takam on short notice and knocked him out on the 11th round.