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Anthony Joshua given coronavirus all-clear ahead of Kubrat Pulev fight

The 31-year-old from Watford will fight for the first time in 2020 at Wembley’s SSE Arena this weekend.

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Anthony Joshua has joined Matchroom’s bubble ahead of his world heavyweight fight with Kubrat Pulev on Saturday (David Parry/PA)

Anthony Joshua has joined Matchroom’s bubble ahead of his world heavyweight fight with Kubrat Pulev on Saturday (David Parry/PA)

Anthony Joshua has joined Matchroom’s bubble ahead of his world heavyweight fight with Kubrat Pulev on Saturday (David Parry/PA)

Anthony Joshua was able to end his short period in self-isolation on Wednesday morning when his coronavirus test came back negative ahead of his world heavyweight clash with Kubrat Pulev.

The 31-year-old entered Matchroom’s bio-secure bubble in London on Tuesday and had to stay in his room for the night before being given the all-clear.

Once Joshua’s test results were confirmed, the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belt-holder made his way to the gym to carry on preparations for Saturday’s bout at Wembley’s SSE Arena.

Later on Wednesday evening the Watford-born boxer will show off his physique in an open workout session where rival Pulev and undercard fighters Lawrence Okolie and Hughie Fury will also be put through their paces in the ring.

Cruiserweight Okolie was set to fight for a world title on this bill but original opponent Krzysztof Glowacki tested positive for Covid-19 and, with replacement Nikodem Jezewski ranked outside of the top 15, it looks likely the vacant WBO cruiserweight title will not be on the line.

Nevertheless, the Hackney boxer, who has regularly received praise from Joshua after their sparring sessions, is eager to keep his momentum going and extend his record to 15-0.

Okolie said: “This one is not a world title shot but since I was an amateur I was sparring AJ, Dillian (Whyte), all these guys and coaches would come up to me and say, ‘You will go all the way’ and I don’t know if they say that to everyone!

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Lawrence Okolie, like Anthony Joshua, fought for Great Britain at the Olympics (Paul Harding/PA)

Lawrence Okolie, like Anthony Joshua, fought for Great Britain at the Olympics (Paul Harding/PA)

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Lawrence Okolie, like Anthony Joshua, fought for Great Britain at the Olympics (Paul Harding/PA)

“But I was thinking we are here and about to go all the way to what we spoke about.

“Unfortunately it is not the case through Covid but I still have an opportunity to keep the momentum going.

“It feels good (the praise) and has always given me a little extra push because, if I can do it in sparring, I should be able to do it on fight night when it matters.”

Airdrie-based Martin Bakole is another to have sparred with Joshua and will be fighting for the WBC international heavyweight title when he takes on Sergey Kuzmin this weekend.

The Congo-born 27-year-old is desperate for more chances on the big stage and would not turn down the chance to take on his good friend either in the future.

“One day if Anthony is still there and champion and I am challenger, I can’t say no,” Bakole said.

“Fighting is business and friendship is friendship.”

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