Leading boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is adamant that Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title fight with Kubrat Pulev will take place this year, and you can understand his reasoning.
The fight was originally meant to take place in June at Tottenham’s stadium, but was postponed for obvious reasons.
Now Hearn wants to stage the fight in December at the O2 Arena, and he has explained why.
“Every sport is in trouble without fans. We have got to do what is right” Hearn said, as quoted by BBC Sport.
“Hasn’t boxed for a year”
“Anthony hasn’t boxed for a year and the ultimate thing is he needs to progress his career. He wants to learn, he wants to fight…if you’re a business, if you’re a sport, you can’t afford to sit and wait for what might be” Hearn said.
The comment about Joshua not having fought for a year is why Hearn will be so vehement that the fight will take place. Joshua’s career is currently standing still at the moment, as he cannot fight.
His last fight was against Andy Ruiz Jr last December. So, if he fights Pulev that will be his first fight in a year. That is no good for a boxer in the prime of their career.
Of course, the Government will have their say on where any fight will take place. So far, Matchroom’s boxing events have taken place in the back garden of their head office.
That worked for smaller events, but it wouldn’t for an Anthony Joshua event.
Staging event outdoors may be an option
Possibly staging the fight outdoors could well be an option. That could allow for a socially distanced crowd. However, it might create a strange atmosphere, if for example, a 60,000 seat stadium only had 6,000 fans in it. Still, that is better than no fans.
We shall just need to wait and see happens with the venue for the fight. Staging it at the O2 would be interesting, as fans could possibly attend with social distancing measures. Most likely that number would be down on the number that could attend a stadium show though.
Still, it is understandable why Hearn wants his main boxer to fight. Only time will tell if that fight takes place in 2020, although Hearn seems adamant that it will.