It has been confirmed that Kubrat Pulev will face the winner of the rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua.
The Bulgarian previously challenged for world honors. Pulev has been reinstated as the IBF’s mandatory challenger.
His only tilt for world glory was against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014, which ended in a KO defeat.
Since then, Pulev has rebuilt his career. The veteran won two IBF eliminators with wins over British duo Dereck Chisora and Hughie Fury.
The ‘Cobra’ was expected to face former champion Joshua in 2017 only to pull out due to injury.
There were discussions for Pulev to challenge ‘AJ’, with November being the date before Ruiz produced a sensational upset at Madison Square Garden.
Ivaylo Gotzev, bemused as to why Pulev hasn’t had his chance to win a world title in his second attempt, questioned the further delay.
“Eddie is running this heavyweight title like it’s his own private enterprise,” said Gotzev of Epic Sports.
“The bottom line is, Pulev originally fought an IBF eliminator over three years ago. He was next in line with his IBF mandatory status.
“The IBF is an organization that has set a precedent for following their written rules according to rule 5.A.1.
“Ruiz’s rematch clause against Joshua does not affect his obligation to defend his title against the IBF leading available contender.
“Mandatory obligations supersede a promoter’s promotional rights. The IBF should not set aside their rules over the contractual details of a past fight.”
He continued: “Two months have gone by since the Joshua bubble burst. No (official) deal has yet been confirmed (by Team Ruiz), only the occasional blurb by Eddie Hearn.
“He was talking to us for a November date at Wembley Stadium. Andy Ruiz ruined those plans.
“Andy is the new face of heavyweight boxing and we respect his fighting abilities. Pulev vs Ruiz will be a formidable battle.”