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Anthony Joshua to defend titles against Pulev in December but ‘strong chance’ of being no fans

Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua will defend his world titles against Kubrat Pulev later this year but it is highly likely the fight will take place behind closed doors.

Hearn is still hoping to hold the bout at London’s O2 Arena and wants to leave it as late as possible in the hope of having fans present. 

He told ESPN: ‘We know AJ’s only going to fight once this year, so we want to give ourselves the best opportunity to bring in a crowd, and that would obviously be the later the better.

‘But it’s still not a gimme at all. There’s still a very strong chance that AJ will have to fight behind closed doors.’

And Hearn said of The 02: ‘Their regulations comply with the government, so at the moment they’re closed.

‘So they would need to open up. We’d need to get an understanding from the government what is allowed in arenas. Are you going to open at 50 per cent [capacity]?

‘Are you going to open up 100 per cent? There’s a lot of work that has to go into that with the government and The O2.’

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