Joshua vs Pulev targeted for week before Fury vs Wilder

Anthony Joshua plans to KO Kubrat Pulev and then tell Tyson Fury : It's over to you.

The heavyweight rivals are on a collision course for next year after agreeing a two-fight deal in principle.

But both are contracted to interim fights which have been significantly delayed by the coronavirus crisis.

Joshua was due to take on Pulev on June 20 in London but will now tackle his mandatory challenger on December 5 or 12.

Fury is then pencilled in to defend his world title against Wilder in their trilogy clash six days before Christmas, a fight originally scheduled for this month.

That would set the British rivals up for their fights in 2021 – although Fury may first have to face his own mandatory challenger in Dillian Whyte.

"He should have been out in June and now he will have been out for a year," said Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn.

"When you talk to him and [coach] Robert McCracken, he’s not suffering for a few quid, so he needs to progress his career in the right way and more importantly prepare for the Tyson Fury fight.

"Pulev, coming off a year lay-off, is really good preparation, in my opinion, for Tyson Fury. Not stylistically, but just to get in with a big heavyweight, get that big momentum, hopefully score a big knockout and move forward into that fight in 2021.

"It looks like Fury-Wilder is December 19, so we will most likely go on December 5 or 12, to give ourselves as much time as possible.

"He would probably go the end of October or middle of November, but for the sake of three or four weeks, you are only going to box once this year."

This weekend Hearn launches his month-long Fight Camp series in the back garden of his Matchroom mansion.

The final show will feature Whyte against Alexander Povetkin on pay-per-view, but otherwise Hearn has struggled to attract his marque names given the lack of crowd revenue.

The promoter hopes to be able to stage Joshua vs Pulev in front of fans in the UK but is also considering holding the fight abroad if he can attract a significant site fee.

|I am in discussions with somewhere, it is not dis-similar to [UFC] Fight Island," he added.

"At the moment, anywhere in the world has a problem. Even territories like, using an example, Saudi Arabia. They were due to hold major events this year, but at the moment they are not looking to do that until early next year because they are not quite in a position to do so.

It would be quite nice to not worry about the pressures of the crowd for AJ and just do it in a territory that is up for investing in a site fee.

"But all the countries are not at a stage where they can confidently say, ‘Yes, we will make an investment for a November/December fight because we know we will be fine.

"We are still in the land of 'it’s looking good, but let’s see' – the same as here."

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