WBN spoke exclusively to Top Rank boss and Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum this week to get the lowdown on Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev.
Joshua and Pulev have to meet next, as stipulated by the International Boxing Federation. It comes as the Briton chose to defend his red belt over the WBO.
Two mandatories were called days on from Joshua regaining his titles against Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia. This was due to the fact AJ lost the first fight and had a rematch clause.
Pulev was due to be next in late 2019, with the WBO number expected to get his chance in the first half of 2020.
Losing to Ruiz in New York last June was never part of the plan. Joshua was shockingly dropped four times and humbled in seven rounds.
Fast forward six months and Joshua superbly boxed his way to two-time world champion status.
The Bulgarian is now set for his shot, with Joshua on the verge of vacating the WBO strap for stablemate Oleksandr Usyk to fight for.
Dates in May and June have been discussed for Joshua vs Pulev. With Arum confirming only the actual venue needs to be sorted as the City is already agreed to be London, England.
“As far as I’m concerned and representing Pulev, we’ve had a meeting of the minds with Eddie on the Joshua fight,” Arum exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I think Eddie is holding off on finalizing it. That’s until he makes up his mind on whether he wants the fight to go to Tottenham Spurs stadium or Arsenal Stadium.
“I guess he’s negotiating. But as far as we are concerned, it’s going to be in London. It makes no difference in which stadium the fight takes place,” he added.
Wembley Stadium had certainly been ruled out long ago for Joshua. The 30-year-old is making his return to UK shores following a full 2019 abroad.
But with yet another dangerous opponent in the opposite corner, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist has plenty of detractors due to his KO loss.
The air of invincibility is gone. Replaced by the need to box and move his way to gain victories in the future.
Joshua was once considered one of the best finishers in the business. One fateful night at Madison Square Garden may have changed his style forever.