Coronavirus: Joshua v Pulev world title fight postponed

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Anthony Joshua's world heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev has been postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua was due to fight Bulgarian Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.

But the proliferation of COVID-19 has led to a decision to postpone the bout.

Joshua's promoters Matchroom confirmed the news on Friday and have begun working on a new date, with the prospect of hosting it at Spurs' ground still open.

Pulev and Joshua had previously been due to fight in 2017 but the challenger had to withdraw due to injury. After this delay, they now hope it will prove third time lucky.

"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," read a statement from Matchroom.

"We will announce any updates in due course and continue to explore the possibility of hosting this fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium."

Earlier this week, the heavyweight fight between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin was called off, as was the clash between Oleksandr Usyk and Dereck Chisora.

The winners of those two bouts, which were both scheduled for May, would have been in the mix for world title fights against either the winner of Joshua's clash against Pulev, or the scheduled third meeting between WBC champion Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.

Joshua regained his titles by winning his rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia on points.

That December victory came six months after the Briton had suffered shock stoppage defeat to Ruiz in New York.