firstname.lastname@example.org (Chris McKenna)
Anthony Joshua is holding out hope fans can attend his ‘Lion’s Den’ when he takes on Kubrat Pulev on December 12.
The WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion’s clash with the Bulgarian challenger was finally confirmed for the O2 in London last night.
Joshua, 31, will return to the venue for the first time since he knocked out Dominic Breazeale back in 2016.
The Watford warrior also won his first world title at the O2 when he beat Charles Martin for the IBF belt earlier in the same year.
At the moment there looks to be little chance of supporters being able to attend the fight with IBF mandatory Pulev due to the coronavirus restrictions.
But Joshua hasn’t given up hope as he prepares to fight in the UK for the first time in over two years after back-to-back clashes with Andy Ruiz Jnr in New York and Saudi Arabia.
He said: “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.
“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.
“I am really hoping that, safety permitting, we might be able to bring some boxing fans in, but we will have to see.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is confident this clash will be the final hurdle to clear before an undisputed clash with WBC champion Tyson Fury next year.
Hearn said: “Over a year after regaining his crown, Anthony Joshua takes on yet another dangerous challenger in mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev.
“AJ’s resume is unrivalled, and this is the final hurdle until we challenge for the undisputed crown next year.”