Anthony Joshua is set to fight for the first time in a year after it was officially announced he will defend his heavyweight world titles against Kubrat Pulev on December 12 at London’s O2 Arena.
Joshua – who has not fought since outpointing Andy Ruiz Jr to regain his titles on December 7 2019 – was scheduled to take on his Bulgarian mandatory challenger on June 20 but the bout was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It has now been confirmed he will take on Pulev in his first home bout in more than two years, with his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO belts on the line.
The belts go back up in the air again on Dec 12th…
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) October 16, 2020
t is currently unclear whether any fans will be permitted to attend the bout, with all pilot events for live sport currently on hold, but Joshua’s camp have made it clear they will make the case for a limited live crowd.
While the man himself will be focused on taking care of business inside the ring, he hopes for some of his supporters to be cheering him on.
“The O2 is the original lion’s den, I have a lot of history with the arena, but without the fans something huge is missing,” he said.
“I am really hoping that, safety permitting, we might be able to bring some boxing fans in, but we will have to see. December 12 is the date and once again the Heavyweight belts go up in the air and it is my sole focus to make sure that come December 13 they are in their rightful place in the UK.
“I respect every opponent and I respect Pulev. I wish him well during his preparation.”