27
Nov
2020

IBF give Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev extra time to arrange mandatory

Phil Jay 19/06/2020
Anthony Joshua Kubrat Pulev Joshua vs Pulev

Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev have no firm date to agree on a date and venue as the International Boxing Federation is taking the COVID-19 problems into account.

Joshua and Pulev had to initially trade blows before a certain deadline in 2020. Although the IBF has now removed this stipulation.

The clash was originally set to happen in July, then July. Coronavirus then completely KO’d those plans.

Therefore, the IBF made the decision to give both representatives the time to cover all options available.

“Given the current circumstances, we are being flexible,” said the IBF in a statement to Sky Sports on the matter. “It is difficult to put a firm date on mandatory obligations at the moment.

“Everyone is working hard to get things going with boxing again. Hopefully, everything will be on track soon.”

It seems unlikely the fight will go ahead in the UK anytime over the next three months. This leaves AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn to figure out what’s best.

Taking the encounter abroad would be the quickest way to get it over the line. But there’s still the question of how many fans can attend.


ANTHONY JOSHUA in NZ?

If New Zealand, who have only had a couple of imported cases of the virus recently, were willing to host, it begs the question as to what happens with social distancing and any venue capacity.

It may be a better move for Hearn to wait until those measures are shortened to one meter. To try somehow to work out a way to put as many fans in place as possible. That’s no easy task.

September could be a more realistic month, but if you move into October, November, or even December, this may give greater freedom.

More is set to be revealed in the coming weeks as Matchroom Boxing continues to work on their return to the sport.

Hearn is initially planning some backyard barbeque events in his own home but was beaten to the punch by rival Frank Warren in making an announcement of his return official.

Warren is ready to go and has already secured the BT Sport Studio for three shows from July 10.

Phil Jay is Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay