Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev has been agreed for June 20 in London despite late drama over the possibility of a purse bid between the pair.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum had informed WBN that there was no agreement in place for the mandatory fight. This was due to Pulev wanting to take the fight out of the UK.
The Hall of Famer spoke to WBN last Thursday, disclosing that Joshua vs Pulev, initially eyed for June 20 in London, was set to hit the IBF deadline on March 3rd.
“Anyone talking about an Anthony Joshua fight with Tyson Fury is very premature,” Arum exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Joshua has to fight Pulev and we have a big problem with the site. For Pulev and Joshua, the British Board are not being very co-operative.
“Pulev is now going to go to purse bid because he doesn’t want to fight in the United Kingdom.”
Asked to elaborate on why – Arum simply stated: “We are just not going to do the fight in the UK because we don’t get a level playing field.”
June 20th 🗓 pic.twitter.com/4FbiftE8Cl
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) March 2, 2020
With just 24 hours to spare, Pulev has since confirmed he has accepted the terms he initially balked at.
“Official: Kubrat Pulev faces Anthony Joshua!” – said a statement by Pulev and his team.
“The date is June 20th, at the new Tottenham stadium in London, for the heavyweight championship!
“The contract between the two countries is now officially signed and the battle between the Bulgarian Boxer, who is a must challenger for the belt of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and the British, is guaranteed!
“I am happy to have the opportunity to show the world how strong I really am”, commented Pulev.
The news comes as a big relief for promoter Eddie Hearn, who wanted to bring AJ back to British shores after spending 2019 abroad.
Joshua lost his US debut in devastating fashion last June in New York. He then regained the straps against a bloated Andy Ruiz Jr. six months later in Saudi Arabia.
Heading to Tottenham, as WBN previously revealed first, Arsenal’s new ground had been the only other venue in the running.