Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev: 1,000 fans allowed in arena after tiers announced


Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title fight against Kubrat Pulev will take place in front of 1,000 fans, following today’s government announcement of a new tier system.

The bout will take place at the O2 Arena in London on December 12, and with the capital placed in tier 2 restrictions, spectators will be able to witness Joshua’s first fight since 2019.

The two boxers were due to face off as early as 2017, with Pulev as the IBF’s number one challenger.

The Bulgarian, however, suffered a shoulder injury prior to the event, and was replaced by Carlos Takam.

Joshua won that bout by TKO in round 10 to retain his titles, with Takam putting up a strong fight throughout.

The Brit then went on to win two further title matches against Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin, before dropping the belts to Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden.

Also featuring on the undercard of the Joshua/Pulev fight will be Hughie Fury’s bout with Polish fighter Mariusz Wach, as well as the clash between Lawrence Okolie and Krzysztof Giowacki for the vacant WBO junior-heavyweight championship.


The Joshua bout will be one of the first fights to be seen by a live audience since March, when the government banned mass gatherings at all sporting events in England.

There was a brief period in August in which trial events were permitted to take place for elite sports, with the World Snooker Championship final and several pre-season football matches amongst those admitting a limited number of spectators.

The new tier system is set to begin on December 2 – when the national lockdown ends – meaning that Saturday’s title fight between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce will be held behind closed doors.

Dubois defended his WBO International heavyweight title back in August with a second-round victory over Ricardo Snijders in London.

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