Anthony Joshua, holder of three of the four recognised heavyweight boxing titles, will take on his mandatory IBF challenger Kubrat Pulev, 38, on June 20 in London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, it has been announced.
The news of the fight comes hours after Deontay Wilder triggered his rematch clause to fight Tyson Fury once again following his 7-round loss to the Englishman in Las Vegas last month and dispels talk that a Fury vs. Joshua fight would be next for both men.
It had seemed to be a unanimous thought by all promoters involved — Eddie Hearn, Frank Warren, Bob Arum et al — that efforts would be made to secure a fight between the two Brits who hold all the marbles, though the language written into Wilder’s contract had assured him of another rematch with Fury had he desired it.
June 20th 🗓 pic.twitter.com/4FbiftE8Cl
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) March 2, 2020
There had even been speculation which suggested that Fury’s camp would pay Wilder to disregard the clause in his contract.
Now, Bulgaria’s Pulev gets his chance. The 6ft 4in heavyweight holds a professional record of 28-1, with his only defeat coming to Wladimir Klitschko in 2014. Since that loss, he has defeated the likes of Samuel Peter, Derek Chisora and Hughie Fury, and will now get his chance to make an Andy Ruiz-like impact on the heavyweight landscape.
“I am happy to have the opportunity to show the world how strong I really am,” said Pulev.
Of course, this may well disappoint those who had been hoping for a fight between Fury and Joshua, something which would have been the biggest heavyweight boxing tussle in a generation.