Anthony Joshua could fight Tyson Fury next if the coronavirus pandemic means his upcoming bout with Kubrat Pulev is delayed, according to Eddie Hearn. WBA, WBO and IBF world champion Joshua is due to take on Bulgarian Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.
Complications caused by COVID-19 could mean that date is changed to July 25, though much will depend on when the Premier League restarts. Football in England’s top flight is now postponed until April 30 at the earliest and Spurs may not be able to provide their venue if the halted 2019-20 season runs until later this year.
Hearn is focusing on finding a solution to the Pulev dilemma, but also sees another option where a blockbuster bout with undefeated WBC champion Fury takes place next. Fury is contractually obliged to take a third bout with American Deontay Wilder, but Hearn thinks everything is fluid in the current climate.
"Well I think, all of a sudden, does the Joshua-Fury fight start taking priority, maybe over a Pulev fight, if the Pulev fight extends beyond the summer, " Joshua’s manager Hearn said to Sky Sports.
"There's so much that could happen right now. Anything is possible. But contractually Deontay Wilder is going to want his fight next, whether that's in July or whether there's a force majeure that takes that to October, November wherever. Right now, for us, we are fighting Kubrat Pulev, June 20, and it could be July 25, but everything is uncertain at the moment, whilst the country and the world tries to contain this pandemic."
All fights for Hearn’s Matchroom stable for the month of April are postponed. But, as things stand, the Dillian Whyte v Alexander Povetkin and Dereck Chisora v Oleksandr Usyk fights, scheduled for May 2 and May 23 respectively, have not been moved.
Hearn added: "May is going ahead, but we also understand that we have contingencies in place. [We could] move Dillian Whyte to the middle of June, to move Derek Chisora-Usyk back into the end of June, early July, and of course Anthony Joshua, who was due to go June 20, at Tottenham Hotspur football club.
"Really relies on the run of the Premier League now, because if the Premier League extend their season, Spurs will need their stadium. We already have a reserve date that we're discussing with Spurs of July 25 for Anthony Joshua against Kubrat Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium."
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