Hearn: "There's so much that could happen right now"
Friday 20 March 2020 12:54, UK
Anthony Joshua's undisputed world title fight with Tyson Fury could "start taking priority" over his IBF mandatory clash with Kubrat Pulev, says promoter Eddie Hearn.
Britain's unified heavyweight champion is scheduled to defend his titles against Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office, with Hearn still hopeful that this confirmed fight date will go ahead.
But the Matchroom Boxing boss has a contingency plan due to the coronavirus pandemic and refused to rule out a blockbuster battle in 2020 between Joshua and Fury, who is also trying to fit a third fight with Deontay Wilder into his schedule.
Hearn told Sky Sports: "Well I think, all of a sudden, does the Joshua-Fury fight start taking priority, maybe over a Pulev fight, if the Pulev fight extends beyond the summer. There's so much that could happen right now.
"I mean anything is possible, but contractually Deontay Wilder is going to want his fight next, whether that's in July or whether there's a force majeure that takes that to October, November wherever.
"Right now, for us, we're fighting Kubrat Pulev, June 20, and it could be July 25, but everything is uncertain at the moment, whilst the country and the world tries to contain this pandemic."
The Premier League will not return until April 30 at the earliest, with the current season extended indefinitely, which might affect plans to stage the Joshua fight at the home of Tottenham football club.
Matchroom Boxing have postponed events until the end of April, but Dillian Whyte is scheduled to fight Alexander Povetkin in Manchester on May 2, while Oleksandr Usyk is due to face Derek Chisora at the O2 on May 23, both on Sky Sports Box Office, and Hearn has lined up alternative dates.
"May is going ahead, but we also understand that we have contingencies in place to move Dillian Whyte to the middle of June, to move Derek Chisora-Usyk back into the end of June, early July, and of course Anthony Joshua, who was due to go June 20, at Tottenham Hotspur football club," he said.
"Really relies on the run of the Premier League now, because if the Premier League extend their season, Spurs will need their stadium. We already have a reserve date that we're discussing with Spurs of July 25 for Anthony Joshua against Kubrat Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium."