Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev have reportedly struck a deal that will see the two square off in a Unified Heavyweight Championship fight later this year.
Joshua is coming off the back of his win over Andy Ruiz Jr. which saw him recapture the IBF, WBA & WBO titles. With Deontay Wilder having his hands full with Tyson Fury in late February, “AJ” looks set to step back inside the ring and stay active.
The aforementioned, report from Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, appears to indicate that a fight between Joshua and Pulev will take place within the next few months.
Source: Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev have a deal in principle for a unified heavyweight championship fight that will headline a DAZN show in the coming months. Joshua holds the IBF, WBA and WBO titles. Pulev is the IBF’s mandatory challenger— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) January 30, 2020
Pulev, 38, is the mandatory challenger for the IBF as Coppinger notes, but of course, this announcement has been met with a great deal of apathy from fans who continue to be frustrated by the nature of the “mandatory” stipulation in boxing.
The Bulgarian holds a 28-1 professional record in the sport with his one and only defeat coming via knockout at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko back in November 2014. Ever since then he’s gone on an 8-0 run, with his last fight being a unanimous decision win over Rydell Booker in November 2019.
The hope for many is that Anthony Joshua will be able to get past Kubrat Pulev, and then from there, go on to face the winner of the fight between Wilder and Fury later in the year. Of course, one of the biggest questions for Joshua is going to be the location of where this fight is held.
The popular British heavyweight hasn’t fought in the United Kingdom since back in September 2018, with his last two outings taking place in New York City and Saudi Arabia. For this bout, the frontrunners will likely be the Principality Stadium in Cardiff and Wembley Stadium in London, both of which Joshua has been able to sell out twice.
How do you think Anthony Joshua will fight next?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/30/2020.