1,000 fans will be allowed in to watch Anthony Joshua‘s world title defence against Kubrat Pulev at the O2 Arena on December 12 following the announcement of a new regional tier system today.
London has been placed in Tier 2 so spectators will be allowed in to watch Joshua’s first fight in a year when he puts his heavyweight titles on the line against Pulev in the capital.
The news will come as a huge boost for Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn, who made it clear that he was keen to stage the fight with some fans present.
Boxing and other elite sports will now be able to welcome spectators back – which for many will be the first time since the coronavirus pandemic swept Britain and forced the first national lockdown in March – if the events are being staged in areas across England in either Tiers 1 or 2. No fans will be able to attend sporting events in locations in Tier 3.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed in the House of Commons on Thursday which tier each area of England has been placed in as part of the new regional restrictions to limit the spread of the virus, which come into force on Wednesday December 2 – meaning this weekend’s big heavyweight fight between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce will go ahead with no fans.
Providing London remains in Tier 2, spectators will also be allowed in for Billy Joe Saunders’ WBO super-middleweight title defence against British rival Martin Murray at Wembley Arena on December 4.
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Anthony Joshua will defend his heavyweight world titles against Kubrat Pulev next month