Pulev-Joshua Still Locked In Talks
Anthony Joshua’s opponent will be Kubrat Pulev, but both champion and challenger need a little more time until they can put pen on to paper.
Initially reported by ESPN a deal between the IBF’s mandatory challenger and the current unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua have asked the governing body for a second extension of their deadline to make a fight later this year.
“(We are) making great progress and closing in on a deal,” Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn told ESPN on Monday.
Hearn, who promotes Joshua and Pulev’s dup of Epic Sports and Top Rank were given an extension until this coming Friday, January 31st. That seemed to not be enough time as they’ve been granted an extension until February 14th, which then would see the IBF call for a purse bid.
John Wirt of Epic Sports told ESPN that they needed to ask for more time to finalize a deal because “there are a number of governments interested, but they move very slowly.”
This is not uncommon for Joshua, who fought his last fight inside the Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia, as part of the nation’s efforts to become a tourist destination.
Per the Worldwide Leader, if the fight does go to a purse bid, 65% of the winning bid goes to the defending champion, and 35% heads to Pulev.
With Joshua all but confirming that he will face Pulev for his unified titles this spring, it puts Joshua’s claim to the WBO title in jeopardy, as they’ve made a push for their mandatory Oleksandr Usyk to become the next man to face the two-time Olympic gold medalist.
If Joshua is stripped by the WBO, Usyk may face off against former WBO champion Joseph Parker or potentially Daniel Dubois, as the two have been linked to a final eliminator.