Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz presser

Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev fight confirmed by title challenger after ‘contract officially signed’

Pair are expected to meet at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on 20 June in Joshua’s return to home soil after nearly two years away

Jack de Menezes@JackdeMenezes
Monday 02 March 2020 10:59
comments

Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title bout against Kubrat Pulev has been agreed for the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on 20 June, the Bulgarian challenger has claimed.

Puled issued an update on his Facebook page on Monday morning to claim that the contract for the heavyweight contest has been signed, with Joshua putting the IBF, WBA and WBO titles on the line on his return to the United Kingdom.

"The contract is already officially signed," the 38-year-old former European amateur super-heavyweight champion Pulev said. "I am happy to be able to show the world how strong I am."

Neither Joshua nor his promoter’s, Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing, have confirmed the agreement, but last week Hearn admitted that the fight was “agreed in principle” with the final details left to be ironed out.

Joshgua did however follow Pulev's claim by posting a cryptic tweet on his Twitter account that suggested a full announcement was imminent.

Pulev’s last bout saw the 28-1 veteran defeat Rydell Booker by unanimous decision in November, while Joshua regained his world titles by avenging his defeat against Andy Ruiz Jr in their December rematch.

With Joshua poised to return to London, the 2012 Olympic gold medallist will fight on home soil for the first time since his September 2018 victory over Alexander Povetkin, having faced Ruiz back-to-back in New York and Saudi Arabia.

The 30-year-old was due to face Pulev in 2017, only for the Bulgarian to pull out of the contest due to a shoulder injury that opened the door for Carlos Takam to face the British boxer. That came three years after Pulev lost his one and only world title shot of his career so far, suffering a fifth-round stoppage against then-IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.

Should Joshua emerge from the planned bout victorious, he is expected to face recently-crowned WBC champion Tyson Fury so long as the ‘Gypsy King’ emerges victorious from his rematch against Deontay Wilder in what will be their third encounter. If Joshua and Fury retain the belts, an all-British blockbuster is expected to be scheduled before the end of the year.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments