Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that Anthony Joshua will be fit to defend his title against challenger Kubrat Pulev later in the year. AJ was spotted wearing a knee brace during a Black Lives Matter protest over the weekend. Joshua is tipped to spend the next four weeks in recovery, as a precaution.
Joshua injured his knee while running and had been seen in London using a mobile scooter with the knee brace. The Heavyweight Champion is tipped to get the clearance from his medical team to resume training at the end of the month.
Joshua took part in a Black Lives Matter march in Watford, England, and delivered an inspiring speech on racial inequality:
“We can no longer, from today onwards, sit back and remain silent on the senseless, unlawful killing, sly racism of another human being based on what? Only their skin color. We need to speak out in peaceful demonstrations, just like this today.”
Hearn has confirmed that Joshua will only defend his title once in 2020, meaning a potential unification bout with Tyson Fury won’t be on the cards until 2021. With the American refusing to step aside, Fury will defend his WBC title against Deontay Wilder for the third time in Las Vegas. Joshua is required to put his IBF, WBA and WBO titles on the line against Kubrat Pulev.
Promoter Eddie Hearn predicted that two British unification bouts will go ahead in 2021. “It would probably be a two-fight deal,” he said. “We have no problem signing now to fight Fury in 2021. It will work out better for both of them to box off those fights then have a clear route to get an undisputed title fight done. We want the mandatory defence boxed off, out of the way, before he moves into the undisputed fight next year.”
Joshua hasn’t fought since defeating Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia in December. The title defence against Pulev was scheduled for June 20 in London, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the match into the second half of 2020.