Time Is Running Out To Reschedule Joshua – Pulev
WBA/WBO/IBF World Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) was scheduled to face the IBF mandatory heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) on June 20 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that fight has now been pushed back.
Now, efforts are being made by both parties to negotiate and reschedule the bout with the main crux of contention being location.
Ivaylo Gotsev, manager of Pulev, disclosed to Sky Sports that he took part in a conference call with Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn, as well as Top Rank (who promotes Pulev) to discuss rescheduling issues.
“We’ve given ourselves four weeks to explore any opportunities that are there for the fight. Eddie has spoken about the Middle East, which is a great possibility.
It makes sense because those countries were not as hard affected and if you take the right precautions, we could have a safe environment.
That’s something I want to emphasize, and I can’t say it enough times – safety first. We don’t want to take a risk against anyone’s health, no way no how.”
CROATIA AN OPTION… REALLY?!
Gotsev told Sky he proposed the bout take place at the Pula Arena, a 5,000-seat amphitheater in Pula, Croatia. The venue is well-known for hosting music concerts featuring the likes of Elton John.
While having the Joshua – Pulev fight take place in Croatia is an option, it’s not a strong one. It seems far, far more likely that the fight will eventually land in England.
Asked why Croatia would be a good place to stage the fight, Gotsev noted safety as one of the primary reasons.
“Why Croatia? Well, first of all, when you look at the map of Europe, it’s right there in the center of the map, and it makes sense for our continent to host the event. And also, the venue itself is very inviting because it’s an open-air venue.
You could take the proper precautions and the proper measurements to look after people’s safety first. This is not, just go out there and have a fight. No, we’ve got to protect the people that are involved with the fight.
From participants to the timekeepers to the judges. All the stuff that’s involved in the production of such a big event, we’re looking after their health. So we could take proper precautions there and protect everyone.
Croatia is one of the countries that was not hit very hard, as we know, and also with proper measurements, that could be the case where we’re not exposing everybody. An open-air stadium where you could spread out the crowd a little bit makes perfect sense.”
Following his rematch win over Andy Ruiz to recapture the world heavyweight belts, Joshua indicated that he wanted his next fight to take place on home turf, which means his country of Great Britain. In the end, look for “AJ” to get what he wants.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.