Eddie Hearn hopes the Anthony Joshua-Kubrat Pulev heavyweight title fight can happen by the end of this summer.
As expected, Joshua-Pulev was postponed Friday from its original date of June 20. Joshua’s mandated defense of his IBF championship versus Pulev is supposed to be held at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, but that venue’s availability is unknown because Tottenham Hotspur’s home soccer schedule has been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re speaking to Tottenham,” Hearn told Sky Sports on Friday. “We are working with them for dates in July and early in August as well, when we hope we’ll be back. Hopefully, we see that fight take place at the end of the summer.”
Hearn – whose company, Matchroom Boxing, promotes Joshua – previously mentioned July 25 as a potential date for the Joshua-Pulev card. Hearn already has rescheduled a card featuring heavyweights for July 4, but other prominent sporting events scheduled for that month in England, Wimbledon and the British Open, have already been canceled.
Nevertheless, Hearn has announced that the Dillian Whyte-Alexander Povetkin card will take place July 4 at Manchester Arena in Manchester. England’s Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) and Russia’s Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs) were supposed to meet May 2 at Manchester Arena, but that show was postponed Monday for two months.
Matchroom hasn’t announced a new date for a show headlined by Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) and England’s Dereck Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs). That card, which was scheduled for May 23 at O2 Arena in London, also was pushed back Monday, when the British Boxing Board of Control announced boxing wouldn’t be allowed in the United Kingdom throughout the month of May.
The postponement announcement Friday marked another delay for Bulgaria’s Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) in his attempt to finally fight Joshua.
They were supposed to square off in October 2017, but Pulev suffered a shoulder injury that forced him to withdraw less than two weeks in advance of that IBF-mandated match at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Cameroon’s Carlos Takam (38-5-1, 28 KOs) replaced Pulev on short notice and lost by 10th-round technical knockout to a then-unbeaten Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.