firstname.lastname@example.org (Ollie Salt)
Kubrat Pulev has confirmed he will finally take on unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in London on December 12.
The Bulgarian was first scheduled to face Joshua, 30, all the way back in October 2017, only to be replaced by Carlos Takam at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff when he sustained a late shoulder injury.
He has since climbed his way back into a position as mandatory challenger for AJ’s IBF strap and was due to receive his title shot at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20, before the coronavirus pandemic brought sport to a standstill across the globe.
Rumours then surfaced of the Brit potentially snubbing Pulev to lock horns with domestic rival Tyson Fury in a bout which would crown the first undisputed king of the division for two decades.
However, the 39-year-old now claims to have secured a deal to fight Joshua in London on December 12.
Pulev posted on his official website on Monday: “It’s official: Pulev vs. Joshua on 12 December in London.”
He then added on Facebook: “There is no way back, no postponement, no rescheduling! Let the better one win!”
The Cobra came up short in his first world-title tilt, suffering a knockout defeat against then-unified champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2014.
He has picked up victories over British heavyweights Dereck Chisora and Hughie Fury in the six years that have followed, yet Joshua will be expected to brush him aside and set up a mouthwatering showdown with Fury.
The Gypsy King has paved the way for an undisputed clash with his arch-nemesis in 2021 after calling off his proposed trilogy bout with Deontay Wilder, who had exercised his right to a rematch after losing his WBC title in February.
Nevertheless, Fury insists he has “moved on” from the Bronze Bomber following his team’s attempt to delay their meeting until next year.
“I was looking forward to smashing Wilder again. A quick and easy fight,” he told The Athletic.
“But Wilder and his team were messing around with the date. They don’t really want to fight the lineal heavyweight champion. They know how it ends. The world knows how it will end: with Wilder on his ass again.
“Then they asked me if I would agree to push it to December. I agreed to Dec. 19. Then they tried to change the date again into next year. I’ve been training. I’m ready.
“When they tried moving off Dec. 19 and pushing to next year, enough was enough. I’ve moved on.”