Hearn says Joshua's fight with Pulev will take place in 2020

Anthony Joshua’s fight against Kubrat Pulev will ‘definitely’ take place in 2020, insists Eddie Hearn but promoter admits new Government restrictions on sporting crowds could mean taking the fight overseas

  • Promoter Eddie Hearn insisted Anthony Joshua will fight Kubrat Pulev this year 
  • Hearn confirmed the bout was moved to December to allow for larger crowds 
  • But the latest government announcement may mean the fight is held overseas
  • Boris Johnson put the brakes on letting fans attend pilot events this weekend 

Anthony Joshua will ‘definitely’ fight Kubrat Pulev in 2020 despite the new restrictions on spectators that were introduced on Friday – but the latest developments have increased the likelihood of the bout taking place overseas.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed earlier this week that the bout had been moved to December in line with projections of bigger crowds being permitted to sporting events in this country.

But in the wake of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on Friday that fans will no longer be allowed to attend pilot events this weekend, amid a rise in Covid cases, Hearn has indicated they could be forced to change Joshua’s plans.

Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua’s fight with Kubrat Pulev will ‘definitely’ take place this year

Joshua’s promoter Hearn confirmed this week that the bout had been moved to December

While he guaranteed WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight world champion Joshua would still be fighting, and that their preference is a location in Britain, it is increasingly likely to be behind closed doors or even abroad.

Hearn, whose £5million Matchroom Fight Camp project stages its first quarantined card on Saturday, told Sportsmail: ‘There’s a very strong chance that AJ will now have to fight in this kind of closed-doors environment as well. Our plans are not waiting for the crowds, they are to advance the sport by any means necessary.

‘He won’t fight in the Matchroom garden because it is December and the weather is a factor, but closed doors is possible. If the situation with no crowds develops, we have to be ready for that if it is what is presented to us. He will definitely fight this year whether it is closed doors or not.

‘We are not ruling out going somewhere else because there will be territories that are Covid free and this situation is moving. Other countries will want to say they are open for business and a great way to do it is staging the heavyweight championship. The focus is still the UK.’

Joshua has not fought since he beat Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia last December.

Hearn guaranteed Joshua would take on Pulev (pictured) but the event may take place abroad

Boris Johnson said on Friday fans will no longer be allowed to attend pilot events this weekend

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