Joshua-Pulev title fight in June postponed

Anthony Joshua’s mandatory heavyweight world title defense against Kubrat Pulev was formally postponed on Friday due to the coronavirus pandemic, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn announced.

England’s Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs), who holds three of the four major heavyweight world titles, and Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs), of Bulgaria, were due to meet on June 20 at 70,000-seat Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London

“Last week we gave you the unfortunate news that our May shows would unfortunately be delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis,” Hearn said in a video he posted to social media.

“This week we want to update you that the proposed defense of Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight championship against Kubrat Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur on June 20 will also be delayed.

“We’re working on dates right now with Tottenham Hotspur for later in the summer.”

Joshua, 30, who regained his unified titles by one-sided decision over Andy Ruiz Jr. in December to avenge a shocking seventh-round knockout loss last June, is due for his first fight since reclaiming the belts.

Pulev, 38, has won eight fights in a row since losing by knockout to then-unified heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko in November 2014 in his first title opportunity.

Pulev said that whenever the fight is rescheduled, he will be prepared.

“I’m ready for battle, anytime, anyplace,” Pulev said.

It comes as no surprise that the bout was postponed amid the global pandemic. Pulev said last week he believed it would be postponed.

Due to restrictions caused by the coronavirus, Pulev has been unable to travel to the United States for his training camp in Southern California with new trainer Joe Goossen.

“We are obviously disappointed by the postponement, but it has to be put in perspective when lives are at stake and the world is suffering,” said John Wirt of Epic Sports, Pulev’s co-promoter with Top Rank. “We will be conferring with Matchroom and Top Rank and will do our best to get this fight on as soon as it is safe and prudent.”