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Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev has option of Roman amphitheatre in Croatia

"The arena itself predisposes to an unprecedented event in our times"

Anthony Joshua
Image: Joshua will defend IBF, WBA and WBO gold against Pulev

Anthony Joshua's world heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev has been suggested to take place at a Roman amphitheatre in Croatia by the challenger's team.

Joshua was originally scheduled to put his IBF, WBA and WBO belts on the line at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in June but the coronavirus pandemic means the postponed fight is currently in the process of finalising a location.

Saudi Arabia plus two other overseas territories have been in touch to host Joshua vs Tyson Fury, promoter Eddie Hearn revealed to Sky Sports, but "negotiations aren't underway" because Pulev retains the contractual right to be the next challenger.

Joshua vs Pulev
Image: AJ vs Pulev still requires a finalised location

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AJ vs Fury has overseas venue offers but no talks have taken place yet

"For our part, we are discussing Croatia," Pulev's manager Ivaylo Gotsev told local Bulgarian media.

"There is a unique Roman stadium 'Pula Arena' and we are in active conversation.

"We like this variant because it is in Europe, in the middle of the continent. The arena itself predisposes to an unprecedented event in our times.

"There must be mutual consent. We want the conditions and rules to be favourable for both parties. Hearn is talking about the Middle East and we have left it to him to communicate in that direction.

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"Bulgaria it cannot be, because Joshua will not agree. He wanted to be home, but force majeure led to a change.

"Kubrat was ready to fight in Joshua's backyard and even if his family were judges!"

The Pula Arena in Croatia

The venue in a coastal town in Croatia
Image: The venue in a coastal town in Croatia
The Pula Arena has hosted ice hockey
Image: The Pula Arena has hosted ice hockey
A gladiator performance at the historic location
Image: A gladiator performance at the historic location

'I will beat him. Brutally'

Mandatory challenger Pulev, who has beaten Derek Chisora and Hughie Fury, previously said: "We offered various destinations - from Istanbul to Las Vegas, New York or Saudi Arabia. And then I got the reply that Joshua would come up against me only in London. Otherwise there would be no fight at all. And of course, I agreed to this condition.

"I'm not concerned about the place. For example, I never asked for the fight to be in Sofia. From day one I wanted it to take place at a neutral venue as this would be fair to both sides.

"There's no such thing as an ideal location for a true fighter. He can fight everywhere and he's not worried about anything.

"Picking a certain destination is for cowards. For those who prefer to talk a lot rather than act."

Pulev warned Joshua: "I'm way more precise than him as well as a much smarter boxer. And I will beat him. Brutally."

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