Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev ‘set for Istanbul’

Anthony Joshua is set to defend his world titles against Kubrat Pulev, now details have emerged over a potential contest. Joshua’s potential opponent Kubrat Pulev appears to have leaked details over a match-up with the Brit on his Facebook page. The Bulgarian is Joshua’s mandatory challenger via the IBF and is likely to face the world champion in his first fight of 2020
On Thursday morning, Pulev shared a post on Facebook with a link to a story which appeared to confirm the clash against Joshua for May 2020.
Intriguingly, the venue would be Besiktas’ Vodaphone Park in Istanbul, which holds 41,903 when used for football.
It could be a busy month for the city, which is also set to stage the Champions League final on May 30.
Bulgarian news outlet Novinite, also reported that the fight had been finalised between Joshua and Pulev.
Besiktas’ final home game of the season is set to take place against Fenerbahce on May 10, with the Turkish Super Lig set to finish the following week on May 17.
It must be said, it would come as a huge surprise if Joshua was willing to fight outside the UK given that promoter Eddie Hearn has reiterated AJ’s desire to fight in front of a home crowd for the first time since September 2018.
Joshua won back his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts back in style from Andy Ruiz Jr in the Saudi desert in December, half a year on from his first career defeat to date when he was stunned at Madison Square Garden by the Mexican.
The 30-year-old was set to take on Pulev in Cardiff in October 2017 before his opponent pulled out through injury.
Carlos Takam stepped in on just 12 days notice before being stopped in the tenth round of their bout.
Joshua has been ticking over in the gym whilst Hearn configures who he will face first.
Oleksandr Usyk is also waiting in the wings for a world title shot via the WBO after moving up to heavyweight from cruiserweight, where he was the undisputed king.
Hearn has revealed that he believes Joshua’s next fight will take place against Pulev and a host of venues are under consideration.
“I believe his next fight will be in April, and my gut feeling is it will be against Kubrat Pulev,” Hearn told BoxingScene.com
“Joshua doesn’t want to vacate the belts. He loves them. We need to have a conversation of common sense between the governing bodies. We’ve written to to the IBF and WBO.
“Who goes first? You can’t just hold Anthony to ransom and say you have to vacate one.
“There is a rotational system that chronologically tells you who goes first. It’s the IBF. But I also represent Usyk, so I have to push for him as well.
“It’s a bit of a messy situation, but Joshua will defend his titles against whoever he has to. But he really wants the undisputed fight, so we’ll so what happens on Feb. 22 between [Wilder and Fury].”
If Joshua is to vacate a title, he is likely to receive guarantees that he will have the chance to win them back.

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