The next fight for the unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) is close to being official.
Through an interview with Sky Sports, Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn stated that they are finalizing a deal between Joshua and Kubrat Pulev who is the mandatory challenger for the IBF title. Pulev (14-1, 20 KOs) was the highest ranked contender for the title in 2017 and was scheduled to fight Joshua in Cardiff, but a shoulder injury prevented him from facing Joshua. Now after three wins he is once again looking to face the unified champion.
Joshua has two mandatory defenses that have to be made as the WBO mandatory is also due, but Hearn explained that the deal with Pulev is just about completed. “It’s close and if it was proving difficult to make, we would go into purse bids now at this stage, or they would order it,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “We spoke to the camps and they basically said we need another two weeks and we’ll have it finalised.”
The key obstacles preventing the fight from being signed is where it will be held and how much Pulev will be making in the fight. Hearn explained the options out there for the fight and where it most likely will be.
“Pulev wants to make as much money as he possibly can, but there isn’t as much money for that fight in the UK as there is elsewhere,” Hearn stated in the interview. “AJ has given me the instruction that I boxed in New York, I boxed in Saudi, I would like to do this one in the UK.”
Cover photo by Getty Images