Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev postponed with new date 'being worked on'

Anthony Joshua’s scheduled world title defence against Kubrat Pulev on 20 June has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with no new date announced as yet.

Joshua was due to defend his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world heavyweight titles against the Bulgarian in north London, but it has been pushed back.

A Matchroom Boxing statement read: ‘Anthony Joshua’s defence of his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO Heavyweight World Titles against Mandatory Challenger Kubrat Pulev scheduled to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday June 20 has been postponed.

‘A new date for the event promoted by Matchroom Boxing and 258 Management in association with Top Rank and Epic Sports Entertainment is currently being worked on.

‘We will announce any updates in due course and continue to explore the possibility of hosting this fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.’

Joshua and Pulev were originally scheduled to meet back in October 28, but the Cobra was forced to pull out due to a shoulder injury and AJ boxed Carlos Takam instead in Cardiff.

The Bulgarian has picked up three underwhelming wins since then, beating Hughie Fury, Bogdan Dinu and Rydell Booker, which was enough to put himself in a mandatory position for a world title shot again.

However, he will have to wait till later in the year for his second crack at a world title, with the first one ending in a fifth round knockout against Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.

Pulev may be concerned by Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn saying that, if the fight had to be postponed beyond the summer, then AJ would look to box Tyson Fury next and overlook the Bulgarian.

Pulev would have to agree to step aside, as would Fury’s next opponent, Deontay Wilder, but Hearn says it is the ideal next fight for his man.

Talking to Sky Sports before the fight was officially postponed, Hearn said: ‘If it starts kicking on beyond that [July], then you get to a situation where if Joshua is only going to box once this year, he would very much like that to be against Tyson Fury.

‘If it was possible and there was a way to make Kubrat Pulev wait, which I think is probably an easier job, then for sure, I think Anthony Joshua would be extremely interested in moving straight into the Tyson Fury fight.

‘I think in an ideal world, we have that fight next.

‘It’s always been the case, but if we can fight Kubrat Pulev in July, we’d love to fight Tyson Fury in November, December.

‘At the same time, I think there’s so much uncertainty at the moment, this is the kind of situation that might make people say – “I think now is the time”‘.

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