World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will defend his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles against Kubrat Pulev on 12 December at The O2 in London.
Joshua, 31, last fought in December 2019 when he reclaimed his titles from Andy Ruiz Jr with a unanimous points victory in Saudi Arabia. Pulev was due to face Joshua in June but it was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is not clear if it will be without fans because of Covid-19 restrictions. Pulev has been waiting for a chance to face Joshua for almost three years after a shoulder injury forced him out of their planned world title bout in October 2017. The 39-year-old Bulgarian announced on Monday that the fight had been agreed. “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,” said Joshua. “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. “I respect every opponent and I respect Pulev. I wish him well during his preparation.” Pulev said that “for the small country of Bulgaria to stand up for the heavyweight titles is a great accomplishment”. He added: “This fight is for my late father and all Bulgarians around the world. I’m coming to London to seize the heavyweight championship of the world.”