IBF Updates Status Of Anthony Joshua Vs. Kubrat Pulev
While plans have been in place for Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Puelv to clash for heavyweight gold, several factors could end up affecting a bout from happening. That includes a ruling by the governing body with a title the two will be fighting for.
Pulev (28-1), the mandatory IBF challenger, was supposed to fight WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight Champion Joshua (23-1) on June 20. The fight was postponed due to the coronavirus and plans are in place to continue negotiations. Pulev’s manager stated that Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing had about four weeks to pick a venue and date for the fight, and the deadline has passed. The fight is rumored for November, but not confirmed.
Several other factors are in play here when it comes to the fight. Hearn wants to stage the fight with a crowd and could get his wish with a small venue in the UK. However, Pulev isn’t the only name on Joshua’s mind. He has agreed in principle to fight WBC and lineal Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury in 2021. The WBO is hoping Oleksandr Usyk faces Joshua, while Fury must get past Deontay Wilder in a trilogy fight. Also breathing down his neck is interim WBC Heavyweight Champion Dillian Whyte, who wants his title shot.
The IBF may have come up with a complicated solution to work around everything.
“Given the current circumstances we are being flexible,” the IBF stated to Sky Sports. “It is difficult to put a firm date on mandatory obligations at the moment. Everyone is working hard to get things going with boxing again and hopefully everything will be on track soon.”
Pulev has insisted that the fight go on as planned, and told Joshua to defend or vacate the title. With the next few months of boxing up in the air, the IBF appears to be looking at all sides of the situation. Only time will tell if they act right away when it comes to the mandatory fight placed on its door.
Joshua is currently healing from a knee injury suffered during training. He is expected to be out of action for at least four weeks.