Heavyweight champion Joshua to face Pulev in first fight in year

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua
Getty Images

Anthony Joshua is set for his first fight in over a year after the world heavyweight champion said on Friday he would defend his titles against Kubrat Pulev at London's O2 Arena on 12 December.

Britain's Joshua was originally scheduled to fight Pulev on 20 June, with a second date in July also mooted amid the coronavirus pandemic.

December's bout will be the first time Joshua has fought since outpointing Andy Ruiz Jr to regain his titles on 7 December, 2019.

Pulev himself announced the bout with Joshua on Monday but did not specify a venue.

This will be Joshua's first home bout in more than two years, with his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO up for grabs.

Spectators are currently barred from major sporting events in Britain but Joshua remains hopeful he can yet have something of a home crowd to roar him on.

"I have a lot of history with the arena, but without the fans something huge is missing," said Joshua.

"I am really hoping that, safety permitting, we might be able to bring some boxing fans in, but we will have to see.

"December 12 is the date and once again the heavyweight belts go up in the air and it is my sole focus to make sure that come December 13 they are in their rightful place in the UK," he added.

Pulev, in a post on his own website, said Monday: "It's official: Pulev vs. Joshua on 12 December in London.

Pulev has been waiting for a chance to face Joshua for almost three years now after a shoulder injury forced him out of a world title bout in October 2017.

The fight should be Joshua's last before taking on WBC champion Tyson Fury in a lucrative all-British unification bout next year.

Fury is set to defend his heavyweight belt before Christmas before what UK media report will be a springtime clash at Wembley, assuming coronavirus crowd restrictions have been lifted by then.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
Pumas 0
Sharks 7
loading... Live
Orlando Pirates 2
Kaizer Chiefs 0
loading... Live
Pumas 0
Sharks 7
loading... Live
Royal Challengers Bangalore 39/2
Sunrisers Hyderabad 0
loading... Live
Burnley 0
Chelsea 0
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 9019 votes
Cricket
11% - 2341 votes
Football
19% - 4119 votes
Athletics
2% - 531 votes
Boxing
1% - 191 votes
Cycling
2% - 500 votes
Golf
5% - 1052 votes
Motorsport
9% - 1829 votes
Tennis
3% - 732 votes
Water sports
1% - 198 votes
American sports
1% - 269 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 685 votes
Vote