Boxing heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will defend his titles against contender Kubrat Pulev the first week of December.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn said this on Monday, according to ESPN.
The fight was originally scheduled for June 20 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London but was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We know AJ’s only going to fight once this year, so we want to give ourselves the best opportunity to bring in a crowd, and that would obviously be the later the better,” Hearn told ESPN.
“But it’s still not a gimme at all. There’s still a very strong chance that AJ will have to fight behind closed doors.”
Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) owns the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles and is the sport’s biggest attraction in terms of gate revenue.
He often performs in front of massive crowds in facilities like Wembley Stadium, but in 2020 that simply may not be in the cards. He hasn’t fought since defeating Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia last December.
“Bearing in mind he’s only going to fight once this year, I just feel as we might as well give ourselves every chance to have a crowd and that will be the first weekend of December,” added Hearn.
There also are plans in the works for Joshua to face WBC champion Tyson Fury, but Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs), the IBF’s mandatory challenger, is up first.