Joshua, Pulev Must Reach Deal by Jan. 31
WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and his IBF mandatory challenger, Kubrat Pulev, will have until the end of the month to come to terms on a deal for a title defense.
According to a spokesperson from the IBF, both parties have requested more time to reach a deal. Last month, in the days following Joshua’s regaining of the unified titles from Andy Ruiz Jr., the two were given 30 days to strike a deal.
This is not the only mandatory challenger Joshua is currently dealing with, however, as the WBO has ordered him to defend against former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua and his team, including promoter Eddie Hearn, are trying to clarify with the governing bodies if one fighter takes precedence and if the other mandatory can take a fight in the interim. Hearn also promotes Usyk and has plans for a March 28 bout with Dereck Chisora should Pulev get the title shot and Usyk be allowed another bout.
If Joshua goes in the direction of Pulev and is stripped of the WBO title, however, that championship could be on the line in an ordered fight between Usyk and the current No. 2 ranked WBO contender, former WBO champion Joseph Parker.
Original Story: Sky Sports