Update On Joshua’s Next Defense, IBF Makes Ruling
The first defense of Anthony Joshua’s second reign as unified world heavyweight champion is beginning to materialize as he and Kubrat Pulev continue to negotiate.
Per a report by Boxing Scene a bilateral request to extend negotiations between Joshua and IBF mandatory challenger Pulev was approved by the IBF. The deadline was moved from January 11th to January 31st, with both parties looking to avoid a purse bid that will take place on the 31st inside the IBF’s Springfield, New Jersey headquarters.
“Both sides requested an extension because the intervening holidays and vacations delayed our getting the necessary information,” John Wirt, president of Epic Sports and Entertainment—Pulev’s co-promoter along with Top Rank, Inc.—told BoxingScene.com on Tuesday. “But we are making huge progress and are presently evaluating offers from a number of different sites.”
This will be the second time these two were set to meet with Joshua set to defend his titles against Pulev in 2017, with Joshua pulling out due to an injury and replaced by Carlos Takam.
Now, fresh off his unanimous decision win over Andy Ruiz Jr back in December, Joshua seems to have selected a fight with Pulev over a fight with former undisputed cruiserweight champion, who is the mandatory for the WBO, and must face whoever is the current world heavyweight champion by June 4th of this year.
Conversely, Joshua had a deadline for May 31st of this year to get in the ring against Pulev, which seems to be happening in March or April inside a stadium in the United Kingdom, Joshua’s first fight there since 2018.
“We hope to be able to formally announce a deal by the end of the month,” noted Wirt.