Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev have three weeks to finalise a location for their world title fight, with Britain and Croatia on the current shortlist, says the Bulgarian’s manager Ivaylo Gotsev.
Britain’s unified heavyweight champion was set to face Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office, but the fight has been postponed due to the coronavirus and alternative options are being discussed by promoter Eddie Hearn and both fighters.
Gotsev, who guided Pulev towards his second world title shot, held a recent conference call with their promotional team, Top Rank, and Matchroom Boxing boss Hearn to discuss possible venues in a range of countries that would be suitable to stage the WBA, IBF and WBO title fight after the pandemic.
“We’ve given ourselves four weeks to explore any and all opportunities that are there for the fight,” Gotsev told Sky Sports.
“Eddie has spoken to you 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.
“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 in. There you have it, we have about three more weeks left on the exploring and then we’ll see where the best options lie.”
Initial talks have been held by Gotsev about potentially staging the fight at the Pula Arena, a Roman amphitheatre in Croatia that holds around 5,000 people and has hosted music concerts for the likes of Elton John and Foo Fighters.