World Boxing News has learned Kubrat Pulev has an injury which is likely to put an end to his October 28 clash with Anthony Joshua.
Reports in Bulgaria stated Pulev had suffered a shoulder problem on October 6, but the IBF mandatory challenger wanted to plough on with his fight against the Briton.
WBN now understands Pulev has a partial pectoral tear and is set to withdraw from the Cardiff encounter to focus on the possibility of rearranging a date with Joshua in 2018.
The big headache for promoter Eddie Hearn is whether to draft in a replacement with just twelve days to go or scrap the whole event.
Dillian Whyte, a former foe of Joshua, is training for the undercard and may be a late option to consider, whilst Carlos Takam is currently ranked number three with the IBF.
Securing Takam, who would be the IBF’s preferred choice, could prove difficult at this late stage – meaning a return with Whyte seems the natural option should Hearn want to keep Joshua’s planned date.
Whyte has signed on to fight Robert Helenius though, which may push Hearn into pulling out all the stops to bring Takam over and get Joshua’s mandatory duties out of the way.
Joshua wants to face the likes of Joseph Parker or Deontay Wilder in 2018 and not completing his obligation to the IBF would put a spanner in the works of those plans.
WBN Note: A Bulgarian journalist has since confirmed Pulev’s injury on social media.