News ID: 275609
Published: 0216 GMT October 17, 2020

Joshua ‘hopeful’ fans can attend world title defense against Pulev

Joshua ‘hopeful’ fans can attend world title defense against Pulev

Anthony Joshua (L) and Kubrat Pulev (R) will face for the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO belts on December 12.

Anthony Joshua is “hopeful” that fans will be permitted to attend his world heavyweight title defense against Kubrat Pulev on December 12.

The date and location, at London’s O2 Arena, has now been confirmed, with the Briton putting his IBF, WBO and WBA titles on the line, The Independent reported.

Joshua has not fought since reclaiming the belts with a comprehensive victory over Andy Ruiz Jr. last December, while the meeting at the end of the year will see the two fighters finally square off after their fight in 2017 was postponed due to Pulev picking up an injury.

For now there are no fans permitted at elite sport in the UK due to coronavirus protocol, but Joshua is hopeful that could change before the fight.

"December 12 is the date and once again the heavyweight belts go up in the air and it is my sole focus to make sure that come December 13 they are in their rightful place in the UK," said Joshua.

"The O2 is the original lion's den, I have a lot of history with the arena, but without the fans something huge is missing.

"I am really hoping that, safety permitting, we might be able to bring some boxing fans in, but we will have to see.

"I respect every opponent and I respect Pulev. I wish him well during his preparation."

While Pulev insisted he is dedicating the fight to his late father and taking pride from representing a “small country” on the big stage.

"For a small country of Bulgaria to stand up for the Heavyweight titles is a great accomplishment," said Pulev.

"This fight is for my late father and all Bulgarians around the world! I’m coming to London to seize the heavyweight championship of the world.”




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