Anthony Joshua has no interest in silence at ringside for his big December 12 return to the ring, pushing for fans to be allowed into the O2 for his Kubrat Pulev clash.
It will have been more than a year since Joshua last laced-up his gloves for a fight when he meets Pulev, with the bout originally scheduled for April until the coronavirus wrecked the huge 2020 boxing had planned.
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, was willing to forget ticket revenue for his Fight Camp series featuring Dillian Whyte this summer, but has been desperate for, at least, part of the 20,000 Greenwich arena to be filled when his star attraction walks out.
The Brit will want as many home supporters as possible in London that night, with the mandatory defence potentially paving the way for an era-defining Tyson Fury showdown.
“December 12 is the date and, once again, the heavyweight belts go up in the air and it is my sole focus to make sure that, come December 13, they are in their rightful place in the UK,” Joshua said.
“The O2 is the original lion’s den, I have a lot of history with the arena, but without the fans something huge is missing.
“I am really hoping that, safety permitting, we might be able to bring some boxing fans in but we will have to see. I respect every opponent and I respect Pulev. I wish him well during his preparation.”
If the 31-year-old needed any more motivation in training, news that Fury’s trilogy bout with Deontay Wilder had collapsed will have provided it.
The Bronze Bomber’s team have reportedly missed a deadline for suggesting a new date for fighting Fury, and the Gypsy King has lost patience.
The Morecambe giant is only interested in Joshua now and the pair have agreed a two-fight deal for 2021 – despite Wilder’s team insisting the American still wants to face Fury after the Brit’s dominant February rematch victory.