Joshua poised for Docklands fight with Pulev in front of 2,000
Joshua’s defence of his three world heavyweight titles against Kubrat Pulev, and Dereck Chisora’s heavyweight battle against Oleksandr Usyk, could both take place at the O2 Arena, Docklands, in front of crowds of 2,000 in November and October respectively, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.
“We are making plans to stage the rest of the year behind closed doors with the exception of those two events, which will be pay-perview,” Hearn said. “It may be a case of convincing people to attend, and going through the right procedures to get people into the O2 Arena.”
Pulev is a mandatory challenger to Joshua. If Usyk defeats Chisora, the Ukrainian, who was the undisputed world cruiserweight champion before he stepped up to the heavyweight division, will be in line to challenge Joshua.
There is still the Joshua-Tyson Fury contest which fans have been craving, with Hearn explaining that the two fights which the pair have “agreed in principle” will require “a lot of untangling” to make happen in 2021, given that Dillian Whyte – who meets Alexander Povetkin on Aug 22 – is the mandatory challenger for Fury’s World Boxing Council crown. Fury is scheduled to face Deontay Wilder this year.
“Both guys [Fury and Joshua] have accepted the fact that it is agreed, and we are not saying that Fury-Wilder will not happen, but there may be a major issue with the gates and crowds,” Hearn said.
“That’s why we have to keep planning and making contingencies for all these fights to go ahead. Last year, the sums of money being earned was out of control. We have got to stop making decisions based on egos, and look at limitedcapacity events instead for the very biggest fights.”
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