Anthony Joshua explains why he’s willing to fight Kubrat Pulev behind closed doors

Anthony Joshua insists he’s willing to fight Kubrat Pulev behind closed doors, despite the fact doing so could cost him £6million. Joshua’s first defence of his second reign as unified heavyweight champion was scheduled to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.

The coronavirus outbreak, however, has laid waste to those plans and resulted in the Brit’s homecoming being postponed.

July 25 is the new tentative date for the Olympian’s clash with the Bulgarian, although there’s no guarantee major sporting events will be allowed to go ahead by that date.

When sport does resume, it’s likely the British government will order events to take place behind closed doors before slowly allowing fans to be reintroduced to stadiums and arenas.

Joshua is well aware his first fight on British soil in nearly two years could take place in an empty arena but insists he’s willing to ‘fight at the drop of a hat.”

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100 per cent I would take the opportunity to fight at the drop of a hat

Anthony Joshua on potentially fighting Kubrat Pulev behind closed doors

“Economically I’m taking a big hit like the rest of the world,” Joshua said in an interview with DAZN’s Chris Mannix.

“I would definitely fight for the love of my sport and economically I’ve got that hunger in me, even if I drop five dollars or pounds, I’m turning back to get it. I’m never too big to earn a buck.”

If he were to fight Pulev in an empty arena, Joshua would lose a considerable amount of money from ticket sales and sponsorship deals.

That, however, doesn’t bother ‘AJ’, who said: “100 per cent I would fight for $8million [£6million] less [from no gate receipts].


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“100 per cent I would take the opportunity to fight at the drop of a hat.”

Defending his heavyweight titles in front of essential staff would be a stark contrast to the 70,000 plus crowds Joshua is used to entertaining.

The Olympic gold medallist admits doing so would affect his mindset, saying: “You know what, I think it will.

“When you are fighting in front of 80,000 people, whether you like it or not there is a massive impact on your psyche, on your confidence.

“That urge to perform. I’m performing for the crowd.

“So yes it would be difficult to fight without the crowd there to entertain. But a win is a win, and it goes down in history and this is just part of history.”

Joshua’s clash with Pulev will be his first outing since reclaiming the unified heavyweight throne last December with a unanimous decision victory over Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia.

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