Unlike the December 7 2009 battle of Saudi Arabia that saw Anthony Joshua reclaim his title from Andy Ruiz jnr, December 12 show against Kubrat Pulev will be without fans.
Organisers are however intensifying prayers against the coronavirus pandemic in the hope that before December the menacing virus which has its origin in Chinese City of Wuhan, would have faded into oblivion.
Anthony Joshua’s date with Kubrat Pulev has been confirmed for December 12th at the O2 in London but promoter Eddie Hearn continues to wait for government approval when it comes to fans in attendance.
Pulev is the mandatory for Joshua’s IBF title and the Bulgarian has been keen for the bout to be rescheduled after their June date at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was shelved due to the pandemic.
The belief has been that once Joshua beats Pulev and Fury takes on Wilder in December, then the British pair can take each other on in a huge undisputed clash next year.
Dillian Whyte’s WBC mandatory was an issue but that disappeared last week when he was knocked out by Alexander Povetkin. But another issue remains and that is a pending WBO mandatory for Joshua.
Ukraine’s former undisputed cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk holds that spot and he is not willing to let it go.
Usyk is due to face Derek Chisora later this year and will then turn his attention to forcing his No. 1 position with the WBO.
“Usyk has been the WBO mandatory challenger for more than one year,” his co-promoter Alexander Krassyuk told Sky Sports.
“He has agreed to let AJ versus Pulev happen, with regards that the winner fights him next. This statement is still solid.
Whether fans storm the arena or not the fact remains that the viewership will as usual hit the roof.
The Joshua versus Ruiz jnr clash it will be recalled reportedly broke the all-time UK pay-per-view (PPV) record.
The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) revealed that Sky Sports Box Office generated 1.284 million buys on fight night, and a further 291,000 buys over the following two weeks, totaling 1.575 million buys in the UK.