Boxing: Joshua takes on Pulev in December

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Anthony Joshua’s fight with Kubrat Pulev will go ahead this year, irrespective of the announcement that fans cannot return to sporting events from October.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn had been working in the hope that the heavyweight world title fight would take place on December 12 at The O2 in front of upwards of 5,000 spectators as part of the phased reintegration of crowds at live sport.

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However, it is increasingly likely that any fight would need to be staged in front of zero fans following the confirmation yesterday from Prime Minister Boris Johnson that large events will remain closed due to the rise in coronavirus cases.

Despite the hefty financial implications of having no gate income to pay a fighter whose purses top eight figures, Hearn is adamant all his scheduled shows will go ahead.

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He told Sportsmail: “Obviously today’s announcement is a massive challenge for everyone in sport. Our intention now is carry on with all our scheduled events. Clearly the finances are affected by not having crowds, even smaller crowds, but we’re working to keep our schedule.

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