Deadline set to find venue for Joshua-Pulev fight

By Sports Desk May 11, 2020

Kubrat Pulev's manager has revealed it will take no longer than three weeks to settle on a venue for the Bulgarian's heavyweight title fight with Anthony Joshua.

IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua and Pulev were due to do battle at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20, but the bout was postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.

Bob Arum, who represents Pulev, last weekend stated that the rearranged fight will definitely not be staged in the United Kingdom, given that spectators will not be allowed in.

Ivaylo Gotsev, Pulev's boss, says Pula Arena in Croatia or a fight in England are among the possibilities for where the fight will be held and a decision will be made in the next few weeks.

He told Sky Sports: "We've given ourselves four weeks to explore any and all opportunities that are there for the fight.

"Eddie [Joshua's promoter Hearn] has spoken to you about the Middle East, which is a great possibility. It makes sense, because those countries were not as hard affected and if you take the right precautions, we could really have a safe environment.

"That's something I want to emphasise, and I can't say it enough times - safety first. We don't want to take a risk against anyone's health, no way no how. Whatever makes most sense, wherever we can have the best conditions under the current terms we're living in, that's where we're going to go in.

"There you have it, we have about three more weeks left on the exploring and then we'll see where the best options lie."

Gotsev thinks a fight in Croatia is a great option.

He added: "Eddie is well aware of it - our team is aware of it. We're discussing it as a possibility.

"Why Croatia? Well, first of all, when you look at the map of Europe, it's right there in the centre of the map, and it makes sense for our continent to host the event, and also the venue itself is very inviting, because it's an open-air venue.

"You could take the proper precautions and the proper measurements to look after people's safety first. This is not, just go out there and have a fight. No, we've got to protect the people that are involved with the fight.

"From participants to the timekeepers, to the judges. All the stuff that's involved in production of such a big event, we're looking after their health, so we could take proper precautions there and protect everyone.

"Croatia is one of the countries that was not hit very hard, as we know, and also with proper measurements, that could be the case where we're not exposing everybody. An open-air stadium where you could spread out the crowd a little bit makes perfect sense."

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