Joshua On Pulev Fight: ‘Nothing Will Stop Me’
Another major collaboration is official, as Matchroom Boxing and Top Rank have worked together for a big heavyweight boxing fight. The reported bout between IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev is officially on!
“I’m so excited to see Anthony Joshua return to the capital, 70,000 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is going to be very special,” said Eddie Hearn. “2019 was a crazy year that had everything – the only thing missing was a UK fight and as we go into what I believe will be the biggest year of ‘AJ’s’ career so far, all our attention turns to Kubrat Pulev in an absolute must-win fight. Pulev is undefeated in six years and his team and especially Bob Arum really fancy this. I think you are going to see something special from ‘AJ’ on June 20 – a destructive performance on the road to undisputed.”
The bout will be showcased on Sky Sports, and it is presumed a deal between ESPN and DAZN will get done for joint coverage of some sort.
This will be Joshua’s (23-1) first fight following his series of bouts against Andy Ruiz Jr. The 30-year-old beat Ruiz in Saudi Arabia back in December, avenging the June loss to him inside Madison Square Garden. This will also be Joshua’s first fight inside the United Kingdom since 2018, when he took down Alexander Povetkin via TKO. With 21 wins via KO, Hotspur Stadium is a place Joshua has never fought in before.
“On June 20, I am defending my Heavyweight World Titles,” said Joshua. “I’m back in my home city after some time away. A spectacular stadium has been built in North London and I’m honoured to bring the boxing community from all over the world to witness us make history with the stadium’s first Heavyweight World Title fight. The belts go back up in the air and nothing will stop me from being victorious.”
Joshua faces a fighter in Kubrat Pulev (28-1), who has won eight in a row. His last bout was a unanimous decision win against Rydell Booker in November. The last loss he had was his first, a championship bout against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014.
“I am happy to have the opportunity to show the world how strong I really am,” said Pulev. “Becoming a Heavyweight World Champion has always been my mission in life and on June 20 2020 I will fulfill my destiny!”
The fight has been a long time coming for both fighters. The two were actually supposed to fight one another in 2017 in Wales, but Pulev had to back out of it due to injury.
Pulev beat Hugie Fury in 2018 in an IBF title eliminator bout. The IBF then called for the purse bid in January. Between Joshua fighting Ruiz and Pulev signing with Top Rank and dealing with an assault case, a lot of time has passed between the initially planned date. Now that all the side issues are dealt with, the match is officially set in stone.
“Kubrat Pulev has earned his ranking, and he is going to enemy territory prepared to pull off the upset,” Top Rank’s Bob Arum stated. “Ever since Top Rank signed Kubrat last year, I have seen a determined Heavyweight on a mission to win the Heavyweight Title. He has been in this situation before, and he won’t be intimidated by the tens of thousands of Joshua fans at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. June 20 is going to be another historic evening in the heavyweight division.”