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Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev: 1,000 fans permitted to attend heavyweight title fight

One thousand fans will be permitted to attend Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev at Wembley Arena on Saturday 13 December.

The Briton defends his WBO, WBA and IBF championships against the Bulgarian mandatory challenger this month in his first fight since reclaiming the belts from Andy Ruiz in Saudia Arabia almost a year ago.

The fight had initially been scheduled to take place at the O2 Arena but has since been moved to Wembley Arena for logistical reasons, with 1,000 spectators able to attend after London was placed in tier 2.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am to see fans returning to our live boxing events,” said Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter. “Whilst the team have done an incredible job over the last 10 months we live and breathe through the energy and atmosphere that a live crowd generates.

“It’s so fitting that they can return for an AJ fight, when through the last few years he has broken all kinds of attendance records in the UK and beyond. This is such a positive move for boxing and all sport. Welcome back!”

Strict safety protocols in line with the government guidelines will be in place for those who attend the bout, with ticket holders only allowed to attend with members of their own household and unable to be refunded or resold.

John Drury, vice-president of Wembley Arena said: “The SSE Arena, Wembley is delighted to have our customers back for its reopening event, and it does not get any better than the return of fans to see Anthony Joshua in action.

“We are following all government and local authority health guidelines in order to reopen, and look forward to bringing fans and events back in a Covid-secure way.”

Joshua is a heavy favourite against Pulev, a veteran of 39, who turned professional back in 2009. However, Pulev has still only suffered one loss in his career, a knockout defeat against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014.

Joshua was first scheduled to face Pulev in front of 70,000 fans in 2017, but the Bulgarian was forced to pull out due to injury, with Joshua instead defeating late replacement Carlos Takam.

If successful in defending his titles, Hearn has previously claimed that a two-fight deal between Joshua and Tyson Fury is in place for 2021, beckoning what would be the biggest fight in British boxing history.

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