Top Rank boss Bob Arum has confirmed the winner of Andy Ruiz v Anthony Joshua 2 has to fight Kubrat Pulev next.
Arum revealed to WBN a date of May 2020 when Pulev must be given his shot at the IBF heavyweight crown.
Pulev won the mandatory opportunity as far back as 2017. The veteran is still awaiting the chance to contest the strap.
A 2017 battle with Joshua fell apart due to an injury suffered by the Bulgarian. With that, Arum intends to make sure Pulev gets his chance.
The 87 year-old stated a deadline has been set by the International Boxing Federation.
If Joshua was to win (against Ruiz on December 7) then yeah, he has some titles. But then he has an obligation to fight another one of my fighters who is waiting patiently is Pulev,” Arum exclusively told World Boxing News.
“(If Andy Ruiz wins, after) They gave him special permission to do the rematch with Joshua. They said he must fight Pulev next no later than May.”
Giving a damning verdict on Joshua should he lose again to the Mexican-American, Arum concluded: “If Anthony Joshua loses again to Andy Ruiz, which I expect he will, who really wants to bother with him anymore?”
Ruiz v Joshua 2 is taking place on Middle Eastern soil in Saudi Arabia amidst a wave of controversy.
Rumors Pulev could be offered a fight against Alexander Povetkin on the undercard are already doing the rounds.
It’s hard to see why Pulev would want to risk his position to face a dangerman like Povetkin, who alongside Liam Smith and Jessie Vargas is touted by Eddie Hearn for the bill.
“I think a couple of heavyweight fights,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “Out here (Saudi Arabia), they’re very excited by the prospect of big heavyweight fights on the card.
“I think Povetkin is a guy they would like to see out here. I would like to see a couple of world championship fights as well.
“Liam Smith against Jessie Vargas is a fight that I’m looking at for this card as well,” he added.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay (article transcribed by Assistant Editor).
In a world exclusive interview with Bob Arum this week. WBN has been informed Tyson Fury will face Deontay Wilder immediately after Otto Wallin. Despite Fury wanting a UK fight in December. Wilder eyeing an undisputed battle with Andy Ruiz Jr. if he beats Anthony Joshua again, the Top Rank Chairman was adamant when […]