Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 23-1 (21) will make his mandatory title defence against Kubrat Pulev 28-1 (14) in front of a small crowd in the UK, predicted promoter Eddie Hearn.
Before the global coronavirus pandemic shutdown boxing, the WBA, IBF and WBO champion was set to face Bulgarian challenger Pulev at the 62,000-seat Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London.
Hearn says rescheduling the fight in the UK is an “absolute priority”.
“We’re working on the assumption that AJ vs Pulev will not be able to take place in a venue the size of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“Our absolute priority is to stage the fight in the UK.
“It would be great for sports coming back, and businesses coming back, to have a world heavyweight title fight taking place on these shores.
“We’ve had interest from the Middle East, the Far East, yet to receive anything official from Croatia but they have shown interest too.
“But we’d like to do it [in the UK]. We are starting to look at venues that are smaller.
“There is the possibility of us staging the AJ fight in the UK. I don’t think it will be behind closed doors.
“If we can get some kind of number together [for a potential crowd] we can create an exclusive event to keep this fight in the UK.”
Hearn is aiming to promote his first post-coronavirus show behind closed doors in July. The card is expected to feature Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin and Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano.
Hearn previously said that Joshua would only fight once this year.
“Given the current uncertainty, I would expect to see him in the ring again end of September at the earliest, but more likely October or November as the restrictions hopefully start to ease,” he said.
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