BY COBHAM NSA – Bulgarian boxer, Kubrat Pulev may have confirmed he has a May 2020 date with history facing world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua at Beskitas’ Vodafone Arena stadium in Istanbul, the Turkish capital
Currently ranked No 1 with the International Boxing Federation (IBF), Pulev is Joshua’s mandatory challenger. Accordingly, the Nigerian-born British boxer was given until the end of this month to agree terms with Pulev or risk being stripped of the organisation’s title.
Backing a claim that he will take on Joshua in Istanbul on a yet-to-be decided May date, the 38-year-old fighter posted a link on his official social media page to an article which appears to indicate the much-anticipated fight will take place at the Vodafone Arena, which is the home of popular Turkish football club, Besiktas JK.
Joshua and Pulev were due to meet at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium back in October 2017 but the Bulgarian was replaced by Carlos Takam at late notice after being forced out of the fight due to injury.
The Bulgarian has recorded three victories since then, including one over fellow Brit Hughie Fury, while he has just one blemish on his record, a defeat against Wladimir Klitschko which came in his solitary world title fight way back in 2014.
Joshua, who regained his IBF title, alongside the WBA Super, WBO and IBO belts, during his impressive points victory in the rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr. at the Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, last December, was also officially ordered to fulfil his WBO mandatory obligations by facing Oleksandr Usyk
However, the Pulev’s fight seems to have taken precedence and talks are reportedly on-going between both camps. But boxing pundits have hinted that the United Kingdom, the United States or Saudi Arabia are currently the preferred destinations for the fight, which will head to purse bids if no deal is agreed by January 31, 2020
Also, there are speculations about Joshua being keen on returning to London for his next fight, with the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium already emerging as a strong contender and hot favourites to host the boxing showdown.
Pulev, known as ‘The Cobra’, has an impressive 28-1 record in his career, with 14 of those wins coming quick by knockouts.
For now, everything seems to support Pulev in his bid to emerge as Joshua’s next opponent, with WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight king, being made to wait until later in the year.
Just hours after Joshua’s rematch victory over Ruiz Jr., the WBO had ordered that the Londoner must take on the Ukrainian within 180 days or by June 4, 2020. However, with Pulev seemingly in pole position, he is likely to get his chance to clinch global honours sooner rather than later.
The Bulgarian was last in action on November 9, 2019 against Rydell Booker at the Chukchansi Park in Fresno, California, United States – With agency reports