Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title clash with Kubrat Pulev could take place in a Roman amphitheatre in Croatia after the challenger’s team pitched the location.
Joshua’s first defence after regaining the IBF, WBA and WBO belts from Andy Ruiz Jr was scheduled to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in June but it was scuppered by the coronavirus pandemic.
They now need a new location and while Saudi Arabia and other nations have spoken about hosting Joshua’s planned bout with Tyson Fury, promoter Eddie Hearn admitted negotiations were not underway.
Pulev still holds the contractual right to be the next challenger and his manager has now revealed they have pitched the Pula Arena as a venue.
‘For our part, we are discussing Croatia,’ Ivaylo Gotsev said. ‘There is a unique Roman stadium, the Pula Arena, and we are in active conversation.
‘We like this variant because it is in Europe, in the middle of the continent. The arena itself predisposes to an unprecedented event in our times.
‘There must be mutual consent. We want the conditions and rules to be favourable for both parties.
‘Hearn is talking about the Middle East and we have left it to him to communicate in that direction.
‘Bulgaria it cannot be, because Joshua will not agree. He wanted to be home, but force majeure led to a change.
‘Kubrat was ready to fight in Joshua’s backyard and even if his family were judges!’
Pulev warned Joshua earlier this week: “I’m way more precise than him as well as a much smarter boxer. And I will beat him. Brutally.”