Anthony Joshua Set To Defend World Titles Against Mandatory Challenger In April
Anthony Joshua's set to defend his heavyweight world titles against IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev in April, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.
Joshua reclaimed heavyweight supremacy by defeating Andy Ruiz Jr to win the WBA (super), IBF and WBO belts.
And immediately after outpointing Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia, WBO and IBF ordered the British superstar to defend his titles against their respective mandatory challengers.
And it appears Joshua will fulfill IBF's mandatory challenger. Hearn has outlined 'AJ's next fight with Pulev in April being lined up.
"I believe his next fight will be in April, and my gut feeling is it will be against Kubrat Pulev," Hearn told BoxingScene.
"Joshua doesn't want to vacate the belts. He loves them. We need to have a conversation of common sense between the governing bodies. We've written to to the IBF and WBO. Who goes first? You can't just hold Anthony to ransom and say you have to vacate one.
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"There is a rotational system that chronologically tells you who goes first. It's the IBF. But I also represent Usyk, so I have to push for him as well. It's a bit of a messy situation, but Joshua will defend his titles against whoever he has to.
"But he really wants the undisputed fight, so we'll so what happens on Feb. 22 between [Wilder and Fury]."
Pulev had originally been scheduled to face Joshua in 2017. Though injury forced him out of the bout with Carlos Takam replacing the Bulgarian fighter.
He's since won three fights on the bounce, including a points victory Hughie Fury, to earn another shot at heavyweight glory.
Joshua's last two bouts have taken place overseas with the 30-year-old competing in America then Saudi Arabia, but a UK homecoming is on the cards with Tottenham's stunning 62,062-capacity stadium the frontrunner to host his next fight.
How does Joshua fare against Pulev? Let us know.
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