Former world title challenger Kubrat Pulev has praised forthcoming opponent Hughie Fury.
British-born Fury accepted his offer to square-off in Sofia when others declined.
The IBF title eliminator will determine who becomes next in line for Anthony Joshua. Pulev v Fury takes place on October 27 at the Armeec Arena.
Thus far, Pulev’s only career loss came in a challenge for the undisputed heavyweight championship against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014.
Fury is the fourth opponent scheduled to face Pulev, as Britain’s Dillian Whyte and Americans Jarell Miller and Dominic Breazeale all declined the fight.
The Bulgarian will be having his first bout since partnering with Epic Sports and Entertainment. Pulev says Fury better not be looking past him while preparing for this fight.
“The fact that Hughie Fury is coming to Bulgaria when many others ran away speaks volumes,” said Pulev.
“I understand that he is very motivated because this is an eliminator fight for a chance at the world title.
“I suggest he stops thinking about the world title for a moment and come prepared for a real battle. (Training hard), I am already in beast mode and I’m hungry for my return in the ring!”
Currently holing the British title, Fury defeated Sam Sexton having lost to Joseph Parker via a wafer-thin decision in 2017.
The 23 year-old has 21 victories opposite his solitary reverse to the New Zealander, with Pulev set to be another indication of whether the cousin of Tyson Fury belongs at world level.
Prior to Parker, Fury’s best wins came against Andrey Rudenko and Fred Kassi and he begins the firm underdog.
With a little more luck, Fury could have laid claim to being WBO title holder and may well have been facing Joshua on September 22 instead of Alexander Povetkin had his efforts in Manchester last year been rewarded.
As mandatory honors hang in the balance, Pulev or Fury will join Whyte in the hunt for Joshua in April 2019.
That’s provided AJ comes through Povetkin next weekend.