Pulev manager offers latest on Joshua clash

Ivaylo Gotsev, manager of heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev, says that several locations are being considered for the Bulgarian’s world title challenge against Anthony Joshua, following the postponement of their June 20th date at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Gotsev revealed that he had recently held a conference call with both Top Rank and Matchroom Boxing to discuss where the unified title fight will land post-lockdown. 

“We’ve given ourselves four weeks to explore any and all opportunities that are there for the fight,” said Gotsev. “Eddie [Hearn] has spoken about the Middle East, which is a great possibility. 

“It makes sense because those countries were not as hard affected and, if you take the right precautions, we could really have a safe environment.

Joshua and Pulev were originally scheduled to meet on June 20th at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“That’s something I want to emphasise – and I can’t say it enough times – safety first. We don’t want to take a risk against anyone’s health, no way no how.

“Whatever makes most sense, wherever we can have the best conditions under the current terms we’re living in, that’s where we’re going to go. There you have it, we have about three more weeks left on the exploring and then we’ll see where the best options lie.”

Gotsev also addressed the possibility of the heavyweight pair colliding at Croatia’s Pula Arena – an amphitheatre with a capacity of around 5,000 people. He added:

Croatia’s Pula Arena is under consideration to host Joshua-Pulev.

“We’re discussing it as a possibility. Why Croatia? Well, first of all, when you look at the map of Europe, it’s right there in the centre of the map, and it makes sense for our continent to host the event, and also the venue itself is very inviting because it’s an open air venue.

“You could take the proper precautions and the proper measurements to look after people’s safety first. This is not, just go out there and have a fight. No, we’ve got to protect the people who are involved with the fight.

“From participants to the timekeepers, to the judges. All the stuff that’s involved in production of such a big event, we’re looking after their health, so we could take proper precautions there and protect everyone.

“Croatia is one of the countries that was not hit very hard, as we know, and also with proper measurements that could be the case where we’re not exposing everybody. An open-air stadium where you could spread out the crowd a little bit makes perfect sense.”