Kubrat Pulev has praised the fact that Hughie Fury accepted the challenge to fight in his homeland.
The former world title challenger attempted to secure clashes with three other ranked opponents after winning an IBF heavyweight title eliminator purse bid.
With a trip to Bulgaria and a 25% split of the purse (less than £300,000) on offer, many before Fury decided against the task.
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.
Pulev, who will be having his first bout since partnering with Epic Sports and Entertainment, 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. I’m already in beast mode and I’m hungry for my return in the ring!”
Pulev’s only career loss came in a challenge for the undisputed heavyweight championship against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014.
Since then, Pulev has impressed in moving towards another title chance, with Anthony Joshua set to face the winner.
On the other hand, Fury also has only one career reverse to his name. The 24 year-old lost on points to Joseph Parker last year.
A British championship victory over Sam Sexton set Fury up to launch another crack at the world crown, and defeating Pulev in his own backyard could set up an all-British showdown with AJ.
Tickets to Fire & Fury: Pulev vs. Fury are on sale now via Eventim (eventim.bg)
Fire & Fury: Pulev vs. Fury will be presented by Ivaylo Gotzev and John Wirt’sEpic Sports and Entertainment.
Together with Fury’s promoter, Hennessy Sports, and will be broadcast live in the UK on Channel 5.