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Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev Set To Be Ordered, Says IBF

By Steve Kim

Lindsey Tucker, the Championship Chairman of the International Boxing Federation, confirmed to that IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) and mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) will be ordered to begin negotiations in the coming days.

Last Saturday night, Joshua pulled off a sensational victory by getting off the floor in the sixth round to score a stoppage win over former division ruler Wladimir Klitschko in eleven rounds. The fight took place before a record crowd of 90,000 fans at Wembley in London.

Only one day prior, in Bulgaria, Pulev stayed active with a twelve round unanimous decision victory over veteran Kevin Johnson, who Joshua stopped in two rounds last May.


Pulev has now won five in a row since getting stopped by Klitschko in November of 2014.

Before the week is out, the IBF is planning to send out a letter ordering both sides to begin negotiations for the fight. 

"His mandatory challenger is Kubrat Pulev, he's number two and we'll probably be sending out a notification letter one day this week to start negotiations," stated Tucker to

Joshua could find himself in the same predicament as his country rival, Tyson Fury.

Back in November 2015, Fury shocked Klitschko with an upset decision to capture the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight belts. After that victory, the IBF ordered Fury to make a mandatory defense against Czar Glazkov.

Fury was unable to face Glazkov, because Klitschko exercised a contractual clause for an immediate rematch. Because Fury was contractually tied to a second fight with Klitschko, the IBF stripped him of his title.

Klitschko also has an immediate rematch clause for a second fight with Joshua. If Klitschko exercises that clause, then Joshua will likely lose the IBF belt. This scenario is no surprise to Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn, who warned the local press that his boxer would have a hard time holding on to the IBF belt with a mandatory defense hanging over their heads.

Joshua is expected to fight again in the fall.

Steve Kim is the news editor for

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by deathofaclown on 05-04-2017

I don't mind the fight when you consider the fights we want to see are very unlikely to take place in November. Lets assume the Wlad rematch isn't happening. In the UK in November time it would need to be…

Comment by stevepeeve on 05-04-2017

[QUOTE=////;17640887]Sounds like a fine fight to me. Pulev is right next to Ortiz/Parker/etc on every list I know of. I imagine the same guys lamenting him as a bum are the ones who think the division has "suddenly come alive"…

Comment by donjigga111 on 05-04-2017

To be honest if AJ only plans to fight twice a year it has to be meaningful fights. Pulev wouldn't be great to end the year although I wouldn't mind if he Vacates and defends WBA mandatory against Ortiz. Next…

Comment by 1hourRun on 05-04-2017

[QUOTE=BM dnobagaV;17640485]Dude won it from a fat **** who beat another, even fatter **** for it. Prestigious my ass.[/QUOTE] Two top ten HW fought for that belt, Stiverne had to fight Arreola TWICE for the WBC title -- thats a…

Comment by Madison boxing on 05-04-2017

[QUOTE=Jkp;17640001]Why not? Surely he should be fighting the top guys in a very weak division? Not the bottom guys. Isnt this what everyone wants?[/QUOTE] yeah in an ideal world i would, but i dont see many (any) other fighters consistently…

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