On Saturday night in Fresno, California, Kubrat “The Cobra” Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) retained is mandatory status under the IBF, when he won a ten round unanimous decision over Detroit-based veteran Rydell Booker (26-3, 13 KOs). The scores were 99-91, 98-92 and 98-92.

Pulev is in line to fight the winner of the upcoming Andy Ruiz-Anthony Joshua rematch, which takes place on December 7th in Saudi Arabia. Joshua and Ruiz will battle for the IBF, WBO, WBA, IBO world titles.

After the fight, his message was clear. He wants to fight for the title next. Pulev has now won eight in a row since the knockout loss to then unified champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2014.

Pulev will be watching the rematch with a lot of interest, with the hope of facing the winner in the early part of 2020.

“It’s been eight months from my last fight. I think my opponent was not bad," Pulev said. "I respect him. It was a very nice fight.

“I controlled the whole fight, and I was the much better boxer. I showed everyone I’m at the world level, and I must fight the winner of Joshua and Ruiz.”

What the winner of Ruiz-Joshua does in the aftermath will be interesting - because the victor is also bound to make a mandatory defense against WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk.

Both Pulev and Usyk are planning to press the issue for a mandatory shot.

Unless the winner of Ruiz-Joshua is able to reach a step-aside deal with either Pulev or Usyk - one of those titles may get vacated.