Anthony Joshua’s world title defence against Kubrat Pulev next month is set to switch venues to the SSE Arena, reports dailymail.co.uk.
The clash for Joshua’s WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight belts is currently scheduled for The O2 on December 12, but the second lockdown has effectively killed off the plan to stage the fight in front of a limited crowd.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn indicated a fortnight ago he would consider taking the fight abroad in favour of a venue permitted to hold fans, but it is now almost certain that it will shift to the SSE, formerly Wembley Arena.
Hearn, whose Matchroom company are two cards into a four-show deal with the venue, told Sportsmail: “It is looking like Wembley Arena.
“We are set up there at the moment and obviously the situation with a second lockdown has changed things.
“We were hoping for a crowd at The O2, maybe 4,000 people, and we might possibly be allowed 1,000 but it’s hard to say at this point.
“We have been talking to the DCMS (the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) and we just have to go stage by stage and see. AJ is ready to go. He just wants to fight.”
Joshua hasn’t fought since winning his rematch against Andy Ruiz last December.
A loose framework is in place for two bouts with WBC champion Tyson Fury, who confirmed on Sunday that his December 5 clash with Agit Kabayel has been abandoned amid the legal wrangling with Deontay Wilder over a trilogy fight.