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Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev now targeted for December

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June 20th and July 25th dates both fell through due to the coronavirus

BOX-HEAVY-IBF-WBA-GBR-BUL-JOSHUA-PULEV GEOFF CADDICK/AFP via Getty Images

First targeted for June 20th and then for July 25th, Anthony Joshua’s mandated heavyweight title defense against Kubrat Pulev is now expected to take place in “early December” according to Eddie Hearn. Joshua is “starting camp now” and focusing entirely on Pulev rather than eyeing a future clash with Tyson Fury.

This matchup hasn’t had the smoothest road; Joshua (23-1, 21 KO) and Pulev (28-1, 14 KO) first got the call to fight in 2017, only for “The Cobra” to pull out with a shoulder injury and leave Joshua to knock out Carlos Takam. Pulev reclaimed mandatory status with a 2018 decision over Hughie Fury, since which he’s beaten Bogdan Dinu and Rydell Booker while Joshua stopped Alexander Povetkin and had his infamous duology with Andy Ruiz Jr.

It remains to be seen where this fight will ultimately land; while Joshua and his team want a UK clash, Pulev’s team has proposed the open-air Pula Arena in Croatia. I’d be willing to bet we’re still a month or two away from having a final answer as the relevant parties monitor the coronavirus situation.

The card will also feature a vacant WBO cruiserweight title fight between Lawrence Okolie and Krzysztof Glowacki.