Before what is shaping up to be a huge 2021, Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) will return to the ring after a year away in a title defence against Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) on Dec. 12.
Joshua regained the WBA, WBO and IBF titles in a rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr. last December in Saudi Arabia after being stopped by the Mexican-American in an upset at MSG that summer.
His first title defence since taking the championships back was delayed for a long time by the COVID-19 pandemic — first with the lockdown that stopped live events for several months, and then due to Eddie Hearn's hope of being able to welcome a crowd to Joshua-Pulev.
The fight will go ahead with about 1,000 fans, ensuring the ring rust has been shaken off before Christmas. And if the Brit is able to retain against the Bulgarian, a massive unification fight with WBC titleholder Tyson Fury looks to be on the cards next year.
"I had my little slip-up last year," Joshua said. "We've brushed it off and we've got the belts back and now I'm going to go out there and get back on the gravy train and fight the likes of Fury 100 percent.
"But without getting past Kubrat Pulev, who is a serious competitor and challenger, there aren't no talks of Tyson Fury and stuff like that.
"It's a tough game I'm in, because as I said it's the pot of gold at the end of rainbow, but before that I've got to navigate my way through and Pulev is a big old heavyweight standing in the way of that pot of gold.
"I'm still very hungry and disciplined, so I want to steamroll through him. That's the fighter's talk coming out. With that being said, it takes a lot of training in the gym and that is what training camp is about."
What time is Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev?
- Date: Saturday, Dec. 12
- Time: 18:00 GMT/1 p.m. ET
- Main event: 22:30 GMT/5:30 p.m. ET (approximate)
Joshua's return to the ring to defend his world heavyweight titles against Pulev takes place on Saturday, Dec. 12. The card begins at 18:00 GMT/1 p.m. ET, with the main event is expected to take place about 22:30 GMT/5:30 p.m. ET, although the exact time depends on the length of the earlier fights.
Where is Joshua vs. Pulev taking place?
The fight will be staged at the SSE Arena in Wembley. It originally was scheduled at London's O2 Arena, but the fight was moved to the SSE Arena, where Matchroom has been holding events the past several weeks. With the recent changes to COVID-19 guidelines in the U.K., the card will be able to welcome 1,000 fans.
How to watch Joshua vs. Pulev: TV channel, live stream
- U.S.: DAZN
- U.K.: Sky Sports Box Office
The card will air on Sky Sports Box Office in the U.K. and Ireland. In the U.S. and the rest of the world, the fight will be shown on DAZN, which launched on Dec. 1 to more than 200 countries and territories. Click here to learn more about DAZN in your region.
Anthony Joshua record and bio
- Nationality: English
- Born: Watford
- Height: 6'6"
- Reach: 82"
- Total fights: 24
- Record: 23-1, 21 KOs
Kubrat Pulev record and bio
- Nationality: Bulgarian
- Born: Sofia
- Height: 6'4"
- Reach: 80"
- Total fights: 29
- Record: 28-1, 14 KOs
Joshua vs. Pulev full card
- Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev for Joshua's IBF, WBA (super) and WBO Heavyweight titles
- Lawrence Okolie vs. Nikodem Jezewski; Cruiserweight
- Hughie Fury vs. Mariusz Wach; Heavyweight
- Martin Bakole vs. Sergey Kuzmin; Heavyweight
- Kieron Conway vs. Macaulay McGowan; Super Welterweight
- Florian Marku vs. Jamie Stewart; Welterweight
- Qais Ashfaq vs. Ashley Lane; Women's Super Bantamweight