Eddie Hearn provides update on Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev

Eddie Hearn provides update on Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev

Published On Saturday, January 25, 2020By Tim Rickson


Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev close to completion

Two-time world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is currently in negotiations with his IBF mandatory challnger Kubrat Pulev, with January 31st set as the deadline date by the International Boxing Federation.

Bulgarian 'Cobra' Pulev is next in line for Joshua as the IBF's call came before the WBO, which has meant that Oleksandr Usyk has been made to wait his turn instead.

A fight announcement is expected in the middle of February as promoter Eddie Hearn assesses possible venues such as The Emirates and Twickenham.

"Kubrat Pulev is the frontrunner," said Hearn. "I think we've established that the IBF mandatory was called before the WBO mandatory.

"Pulev is the fight for me, and more importantly for the boss, AJ, he wants it here. He's boxed now in Saudi Arabia for his last fight, he's boxed in New York before that.

"For me, it's time to come home. The bad news is that Kubrat Pulev wants as much money as possible for this fight and he realises there's more money in Istanbul, or Saudi Arabia, or the Congo, or Nigeria, but AJ is going to call the shots.

"He may end up having to let the Pulev fight go, if he won't fight in the places that we'd like him to fight and that is in the UK. We're looking at dates at the end of May to the beginning of June for the Pulev fight. Everywhere is in play. Emirates Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur, The Olympic Stadium, we've also reached out to Twickenham as well.

"The Principality Stadium has got some dates for us, so in an ideal world, AJ's next fight will be Kubrat Pulev in London, but this is a far from ideal world, particularly in the boxing game."

The WBO had also ordered Joshua to make a mandatory title defence against Oleksandr Usyk, who is now close to agreeing an alternative fight with Derek Chisora on March 28. AJ affirmed his intentions on fighting the history-making crusierweight, stating, "We will end up fighting anyway. The one that I don't fight, I will fight eventually. In the heavyweight division everyone is welcome to challenge so even if it doesn't happen first time, one of them will fight me in the future."