BREAKING NEWS: 1,000 boxing fans can watch Anthony Joshua defend his world title against Kubrat Pulev at the O2 on December 12th
1,000 boxing fans can watch Anthony Joshua's world title defense against Kubrat Pulev in the O2 Arena on December 12th, after a new regional tier system was announced today.
London has been ranked Tier 2 so a limited number of viewers can watch Joshua's first fight in a year when he puts his heavyweight title on the line against Pulev in the capital next month.
The news will give Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn a huge boost, making it clear that he was dying to stage the fight with some fans in attendance if possible.
1,000 boxing fans can take part in Anthony Joshua's fight with Kubrat Pulev on December 12th
The heavyweight champion puts his belt on the line at the O2 Arena in London – which is in Tier 2
Boxing and other top-class sports, including rugby and horse racing, can now welcome spectators back – what for many will be the first time since the UK's coronavirus pandemic and enforcement of the first national lockdown in March – when events take place in areas across England at Tier 1 or 2. No fans can participate in sporting events in Tier 3 locations.
For outdoor events in tier 1, 4,000 spectators can attend, while in tier 2 2,000 can attend. For indoor events in tier 1 or 2, it is half the number allowed outdoors.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced in the House of Commons on Thursday the level of each area of England under the new regional restrictions to limit the spread of the virus that will go into effect on Wednesday December 2nd – this weekend's The Big One Heavyweight bout between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce will continue to take place behind closed doors.
Provided London stays in Tier 2, struggling fans can take on Billy Joe Saunder's WBO super middleweight title defense against British rival Martin Murray on December 4th at Wembley Arena.
Haydock Racecourse is hoping to receive fans for their December 2nd meeting – this would be the first spectator sporting event since the pilots were canceled in September after a second wave of infections across the country.
A Haydock spokesman said Sportsmail: "It looks hopeful that we can have fans again on December 2nd and that would be great."
However, next Friday's rugby clash between Bristol Bears and Northampton Saints has yet to be played behind closed doors as Bristol was placed in Tier 3.
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