Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has once again claimed a serious delay to the unified heavyweight champion’s scheduled title defence against Kubrat Pulev could pave the way for an end-of-year unification fight with Tyson Fury.
The most-anticipated fight in the history of British boxing is within touching distance following Fury’s demolition of Deontay Wilder last month, which saw him claim the WBC heavyweight title.
Shortly after ‘The Gypsy King’ ended Wilder’s five-year reign atop of the WBC heavyweight rankings, a unification bout with Joshua became the talk of the boxing world.
Should Joshua and Fury win their respective bouts against Pulev and Wilder, an end-of-year showdown will likely come to fruition.
Joshua is tentatively scheduled to defend his unified titles against Pulev on June 20 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, although the coronavirus outbreak could lay waste to those plans.
But should Joshua’s first outing since reclaiming the unified throne be delayed by several months, Hearn will turn his attention to securing a unification fight against the winner of Fury’s trilogy fight with Wilder.
During an appearance on BBC Radio 5 Live, Hearn said: “Right now our plan is to fight Pulev in June or July, then fight Fury or whoever holds the WBC belt at the time.
“If the Pulev fight can’t take place we may end up seeing that fight [against Fury] happen later this year.”
Hearn’s latest comments on a multi-million-pound showdown between Joshua and Fury echo those he made earlier this month during an interview with Sky Sports, in which he revealed the former’s clash with Pulev could take place on July 25.
“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,” the 40-year-old said. “There’s so much that could happen right now.
“I mean 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’re fighting Kubrat Pulev, June 20, and it could be July 25.”
He added: “We’ve got Anthony Joshua, who was due to go June 20, at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
“Really it 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.”
At this moment in time, Pulev isn’t optimistic about his clash with Joshua going ahead, saying: “It is impossible for the fight to take place on 20 June, although I am ready.
“The match will take place a few months later, perhaps towards the end of the year.”