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Anthony Joshua's Return: Pulev in Lead as Next Opponent

Eddie Hearn, promoter of IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, has indicated that Kubrat Pulev appears to be leading the pack as the next opponent for his boxer.

This past Saturday night in Saudi Arabia, Joshua won a twelve round unanimous decision over Andy Ruiz to reclaim his four world titles.

But now Joshua has two mandatory obligations hanging over his head. Pulev is the mandatory under the IBF, and the WBO has ordered Joshua to face Oleksandr Usyk in 180 days.

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Hearn will be on the horn with both sanctioning bodies on Monday. 

He believes Pulev will likely be up first - and then Usyk will follow.

"It's going to have to be quite quickly, because obviously now the vultures will be out, as I would be. I don't blame them," Hearn told Sky Sports.

"I've got to speak to the IBF and the WBO and see who goes first. I think it sounds like it's the IBF, but we'll wait for confirmation of that. AJ will want to maintain the belts and if that's the case, I think it will be Pulev, and then Usyk.

"I think April or May, that's a realistic kind of date [for Joshua's next fight]."

Back in 2017, Joshua was scheduled to face Pulev - but the Bulgarian boxer withdrew with an injury.

An IBF rep had previously told Sky Sports that Pulev's opportunity would come first.

"Ours has to come first," an IBF statement said. "The organisations have agreed that the IBF mandatory would be next."

Top Rank, who co-promote Pulev, are also planning to push for their man to fight Joshua next - and they expect that scenario to happen.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Champ Wilder on 12-10-2019

[QUOTE=Weebler I;20244799]No objection to the Usyk fight but the promoters will know it's more likely to be a boring fight, much like Parker bout and Ruiz II. Personally, I'm not yet convinced by Usyk at heavyweight and don't necessarily think…

Comment by Weebler I on 12-10-2019

[QUOTE=Champ Wilder;20244782]Pulev ain't bad. I'd much rather see Usyk, but I doubt they feed AJ to the dogs this early.. he's still got some cash cow milking to go[/QUOTE] No objection to the Usyk fight but the promoters will know…

Comment by jreckoning on 12-09-2019

[QUOTE=Weebler I;20244765]People forget how boring most Wlad fights were. Pulev rocked Wlad to his boots early on and stood in front of him and exchanged for 6 rounds. He lost in the end but it was 10x more fun to…

Comment by Champ Wilder on 12-09-2019

Pulev ain't bad. I'd much rather see Usyk, but I doubt they feed AJ to the dogs this early.. he's still got some cash cow milking to go

Comment by Weebler I on 12-09-2019

[QUOTE=jreckoning;20244229]I read someone here say Pulev-Wlad was a good fight. I was like WTF? That was one guy Wlad destroyed. If the fight happens, Pulev needs to bring a blow up sex doll in the ring and start groping and…

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