Eddie Hearn is certain that Anthony Joshua’s knee injury won’t impact the rescheduling of his mandated IBF heavyweight title defense.
Joshua “tweaked” the inside of his left knee, according to Hearn, but it’s not an injury serious enough to prevent Joshua-Pulev from taking place in November. Joshua wore a cumbersome brace on his left knee when he appeared at a Black Lives Matter protest two weeks ago in his hometown of Watford, England.
“When you’re on crutches, with your leg in a brace, it is never great,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “But it’s not something that will affect his 2020 career or his career at all. He will have [the brace] on for three or four weeks, just to make sure he is good to go to resume training. He tweaked the inside of his knee. He’s had scans. No surgery, so that’s good news. He’s got to make sure he doesn’t do any running or heavy work over the next few weeks.”
The 30-year-old Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) was supposed to square off against Bulgaria’s Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) on June 20 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Their fight for Joshua’s IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO belts was postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Joshua-Pulev won’t occur until at least some fans can attend the card because Joshua and his handlers don’t want to sacrifice the ticket revenue his next fight would generate.
“In our minds, [Joshua-Pulev] happens in November,” Hearn said. “We know that Deontay Wilder’s side are working on the Fury fight. We have Dillian Whyte hopefully fighting at our headquarters in August against Alexander Povetkin. There are talks to stage the Pulev fight around November. That’s the fight that is next. It’s the IBF mandatory. We want to make sure that when a Joshua-Fury fight does happen, it is for all the belts. The undisputed heavyweight championship of the world.”
Joshua also has a mandatory defense of his WBO championship due against Oleksandr Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs), though it’s possible that if he overcomes Pulev he would be granted an exception to fight Fury first. If Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) defeats Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) again in their third fight, which has been postponed twice and has yet to be rescheduled, a mandatory defense of his WBC championship against Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) would then be due.
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