Promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed that some fans must be present in order for Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev to happen on home soil.
Thus far, three regions have put bids on the table to stage the heavyweight battle in the coming months.
UK lockdown conditions are easing. This means a one-meter social distancing rule could be on the horizon. If this happens, there’s the possibility of staging Joshua vs Pulev with a small crowd.
The Matchroom boss says the United Kingdom is the preferred destination for the IBF mandatory collision, although staging the encounter without fans is currently off the table.
Joshua has to put his red strap on the line against Pulev before then facing Oleksandr Usyk in another stipulation to his reign as a unified champion.
Updating on potential venues, Hearn has a trio of significant offers to discuss with Pulev’s representatives.
“Our absolute priority is to stage the fight in the UK,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “It would be great for sports coming back, and businesses coming back, to have a world heavyweight title fight taking place on these shores.
“We’ve had interest from the Middle East, the Far East, yet to receive anything official from Croatia but they have shown interest too.”
On the fans aspect, Hearn added: “But we’d like to do it (in England). We are starting to look at venues that are smaller.
“There is the possibility of us staging the AJ fight on UK soil. I don’t think it will be behind closed doors.
“If we can get some kind of number together (for fans to be present), we can create an exclusive event to keep this fight in the UK.”
Currently, Joshua has work to do in order to persuade the WBO to allow a further delay to facing Usyk. The Ukrainian wants his shot and has been told it will be immediately after Joshua vs Pulev.
This has ramifications for the Fury fight and could lead to ‘The Gypsy King’ facing Dillian Whyte in the interim.