Eddie Hearn gives Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev update after government U-turn on allowing fans back into arenas

Eddie Hearn remains adamant that Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev will take place this year.

This is in spite of the government’s announcement on Tuesday that they are pausing plans to allow fans back to major sporting events in England.

AJ will face Kubrat Pulev next

Mark Robinson/Matchroom

AJ will face Kubrat Pulev next

With a rise in coronavirus cases and the UK’s COVID-19 alert level moving to 4, proposals for more supporters to attend matches in arenas/stadiums have been put on hold.

Michael Gove told BBC Breakfast on Tuesday: “We were looking at a staged programme of more people returning – it wasn’t going to be the case that we were going to have stadiums thronged with fans.

“We’re looking at how we can, for the moment, pause that programme, but what we do want to do is to make sure that, as and when circumstances allow, get more people back.

“The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors but again it’s in the nature of major sporting events that there’s a lot of mingling.”

Pulev is the IBF mandatory for Joshua

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Pulev is the IBF mandatory for Joshua

Regarding how this impacts his plans, Hearn told the Mail: “Obviously today’s announcement is a massive challenge for everyone in sport.

“Our intention now is carry on with all our scheduled events.

“Clearly the finances are affected by not having crowds, even smaller crowds, but we’re working to keep our schedule. That includes Joshua.

“You have two options – cancel or go ahead, quite possibly without a crowd.

Hearn returned with boxing in the Matchroom HQ back garden

Mark Robinson/Matchroom

Hearn returned with boxing in the Matchroom HQ back garden

“You’d still hope that by December you might have some back but you can’t plan on that now.

“We’ll go ahead in December for Joshua because it’s been a year since he fought Andy Ruiz and he needs to fight.”

The latest reported target date for AJ’s fight is December 12 at the O2 Arena.

This could come just a week before Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder 3 on December 19, though both bouts are yet to be officially confirmed.

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Boxing – talkSPORT

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