Anthony Joshua will finally meet Kubrat Pulev in the first week of December, says promoter Eddie Hearn.
The bout was initially scheduled for June 20 but was pushed back to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Both men were due to clash at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on that weekend but could end up doing battle at the O2 Arena in London instead.
Discussing the new date, Hearn told ESPN : “We know AJ’s only going to fight once this year, so we want to give ourselves the best opportunity to bring in a crowd, and that would obviously be the later the better,” Hearn told ESPN.
“But it’s still not a gimme at all.
“There’s still a very strong chance that AJ will have to fight behind closed doors.”
Joshua has been tipped to face Tyson Fury after he clashes with Pulev.
But an all-Brit showdown now won’t take place until at least 2021.
Hearn, along with all other boxing fans, will be hopeful that spectators are allowed back into venues by the time they duel.
“Bearing in mind he’s only going to fight once this year, I just feel as we might as well give ourselves every chance to have a crowd and that will be the first weekend of December,” he added.
“Their regulations comply with the government, so at the moment they’re closed,” Hearn said.
“So they would need to open up. We’d need to get an understanding from the government what is allowed in arenas.
“Are you going to open at 50 percent [capacity]?
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“Are you going to open up 100 percent? There’s a lot of work that has to go into that with the government and the O2.
“He must box this year, and obviously it’s up to me to find a solution and a crowd.
“But he also knows at the same time, he must fight because it will be a year in December since the Ruiz fight.
“He’s still improving, he’s still learning, and he’s not prepared to just sit out and not fight.”
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