ANTHONY JOSHUA is set to face Kubrat Pulev on July 25 after the Bulgarian heavyweight named the date on his Instagram account.
An initial June 20 fight in London had to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
And the pair are set to duel for Joshua’s world title belts a month later than planned with late July also pinned down by Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn.
Pulev, 38, wrote on Wednesday: “Despite humanity’s most difficult fight to date and the underestimation of the effects on the world of the coronavirus, we will be forced to learn to live in a new, not so pleasant, way that millions of people around the world will be mildly unhappy.
“Despite the difficulties, we must find new opportunities to smile, to transform our lives so that despite all the unpleasant things, to remain happy and to believe in a better future, and that all of this is, after all, for good!
“This is exactly why, despite my real view of the situation, I strongly believe that a world title match can be held on the new date of July 25.”
As the pandemic broke, talk of holding the Tottenham Stadium fight behind closed doorswas rubbished by Hearn with fans viewed as essential to the spectacle.
Plans were quickly formulated for an alternative date later on in the summeras organisers remained optimistic of pulling off their initial schedule.
But Hearnconfirmed earlier this week that fighting behind closed doors was back on the tablewhile several other major fights were also having to be rescheduled.
The promoter told iFL TV: “I’m hoping that we can see boxing back in June and I believe, I’m confident we’ll see it back in July.
“We spoke to the British Boxing Board of Control today, and you’re not going to see any boxing in May, in the UK from anybody.
“We’ve got rescheduling dates for all the shows, we’re just waiting on one for [Oleksandr] Usyk vs [Dereck] Chisora.
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“It’s going to be interesting to see what happens in terms of dates. There’s people talking about doing events behind closed doors, definitely something we’ll look at.”
Agrowing number of big fights are having to be delayed due to the pandemic, Tyson Fury’s trilogy clash against Deontay Wilder potentially joining them.
Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin is now due to take place on July 4 and Daniel Dubois’ meeting with Joe Joyce has been put back to the following weekend.
Anthony Joshua shows off amazing speed and power as he practises body shots in training with Pulev fight on horizon