Joshua could prioritize Fury fight in 2020
LONDON, United Kingdom – Anthony Joshua wants to face Tyson Fury in a world heavyweight unification fight if he has to settle for just one bout this year due to the coronavirus.
Joshua's world heavyweight title defense against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev has been officially postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, promoters Matchroom Sport announced Friday, April 3.
The British champion was due to put his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts up for grabs against Bulgarian challenger Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on June 20.
If the delay goes on beyond the summer leaving Joshua with room for only one contest in 2020, promoter Eddie Hearn said he hopes Joshua's opponent can be WBC belt holder Fury for an all-British showdown.
The 30-year-old's last fight was a title-winning victory against Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia in December.
"A new date for the event promoted by Matchroom Boxing and 258 Management in association with Top Rank and Epic Sports Entertainment is currently being worked on," said a Matchroom statement.
"We will announce any updates in due course and continue to explore the possibility of hosting this fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium."
This is the second time Pulev has missed out on the chance to face Joshua after a shoulder injury forced him out of a world title bout in October 2017.
"If it starts kicking on beyond that, you get to a situation where if Joshua is only going to box once this year he'd like it to be against Tyson Fury,” Hearn told Sky Sports News on Friday.
Fury is expected to complete his trilogy with Deontay Wilder later in 2020, having dethroned the American in February, but Hearn is hopeful some negotiations could be possible.
"The situation is a little bit out of our hands," he said. "If Bob Arum and Al Haymon (Fury and Wilder's promoters) can talk and make Deontay Wilder wait a little bit we would love to go into that fight next.
"We are contractually bound to face Pulev who is with Bob Arum and there is a deal to be done. A lot depends on Deontay Wilder."
Joshua suffered a shock seventh-round defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr at New York's Madison Square Garden in June last year that saw him relinquish several world titles.
But his last bout saw the 30-year-old Joshua avenge that loss and regain his belts with a victory over Ruiz in Saudi Arabia in December. – Rappler.com