While plans have been in place for Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Puelv to clash for heavyweight gold, several factors could end up affecting a bout from happening. That includes a ruling by the governing body with a title the two will be fighting for.
Pulev (28-1), the mandatory IBF challenger, was supposed to fight WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight Champion Joshua (23-1) on June 20. The fight was postponed due to the coronavirus and plans are in place to continue negotiations. Pulev’s manager stated that Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing had about four weeks to pick a venue and date for the fight, and the deadline has passed. The fight is rumored for November, but not confirmed.
Several other factors are in play here when it comes to the fight. Hearn wants to stage the fight with a crowd and could get his wish with a small venue in the UK. However, Pulev isn’t the only name on Joshua’s mind. He has agreed in principle to fight WBC and lineal Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury in 2021. The WBO is hoping Oleksandr Usyk faces Joshua, while Fury must get past Deontay Wilder in a trilogy fight. Also breathing down his neck is interim WBC Heavyweight Champion Dillian Whyte, who wants his title shot.
Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev UNDERCARD
Lawrence Okolie v Nikodem Jezewski — vacant WBO International cruiserweight title
Hughie Fury v Mariusz Wach — heavyweight
Martin Bakole v Sergey Kuzmin — WBC international heavyweight title
Qais Ashfaq v Ashley Lane — super-bantamweight
Florian Marku v Alex Fearon — welterweight
Macaulay McGowan v Kieron Conway — super-welterweight
Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev: Tale of the tape
On Friday, Pulev tipped the scales at 17 stone 1lbs, six pounds lighter than his last bout with Rydell Brooker in November, 2019.
Joshua weighed in at 17 stone 2lbs, slighter heavier than his rival and three pounds more than when he outpointed Andy Ruiz Jr in December, 2019.
Joshua – Pulev
Nationality: British – Bulgarian
Age: 31 – 39
Height: 6ft 6 – 6ft 4
Weight: 17st 2lb – 17st 1lb
Stance: Orthodox – Orthodox
Reach: 82in – 79in
Record: 23-1-0 – 28-1-0
KOs: 21 – 14
Rounds: 103 – 203
Debut: 10/05/2013 – 19/9/2009
Nickname: AJ – The Cobra