Kubrat Pulev is getting ready for a world title “war” with Anthony Joshua and then “all roads lead” to Tyson Fury, says the Bulgarian’s manager Ivalyo Gotsev. The IBF mandatory challenger is the next opponent for unified champion Joshua, with locations in Britain, the Middle East, China and Croatia being considered to host the WBA, IBF and WBO title fight.
An all-British battle between Joshua and Fury continues to be discussed, with promoter Eddie Hearn hoping to even sign a two-fight deal, but Gotsev is confident Pulev will fulfil his own ambitious plans. Joshua and Fury could agree a two-fight deal, says promoter Eddie Hearn
“We’ve got a little history going here, with Kubrat and British heavyweights. He’s knocked off quite a few,” Gotsev told Sky Sports. “He shut up Derek Chisora, because he had a big mouth. That was great, then beating another Fury, the little cousin was also a pretty good feat. That was the fight that qualified him to be the No 1 contender to Joshua, another British champion, so there is a little connection there.
“Kubrat versus UK, I like that. A little name for himself there, so yeah, let’s deal with Joshua first. Let the best man win, and then we’ll look at options with Tyson Fury. It would be delightful to face the UK champions, one after another, wouldn’t it. Either way, all roads lead to Fury. I can say that, because I think he’s shown to be one of the supreme guys out there, if not the supreme guy. He is the man. It would be delightful to face the UK champions, one after another, wouldn’t it.”
Matchroom Boxing boss Hearn confirmed Joshua will make a solitary title defence against Pulev this year, although it remains uncertain whether the 30-year-old will receive the planned homecoming fight. The focus remains the same – do the fight in the UK,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “We have also now conceded that AJ will only fight once this year. Before it was all about getting that fight in early-August to make sure we could fight in December. Because of the preparation needed and the magnitude of his shows, AJ will only box once in 2020. We hope between September and December live gates will return to the UK. There is also a chance they won’t – if that’s the case, we will take the fight elsewhere.
“We have had a number of approaches from the Middle East, China, and Croatia to stage the fight. We want to give ourselves every opportunity to stage it in the UK, but we know it may not be possible. We want the mandatory defence boxed off, out of the way, before he moves into the undisputed fight next year.” Pulev has not been beaten since a sole defeat to Wladimir Klitschko in 2014, and is already putting plans in place for a historic triumph over Joshua.
Pulev plans to bring a world heavyweight title back to Bulgaria
His mindset is – we’re going to war,” said Gotsev. “Going to war, it’s a lot of preparation, we know what’s at stake. This is his chance to rise to the top and become the first and only heavyweight champion from our country, and that part of the world. “It’s a very exciting time for him and he’s doing everything he has to do to get himself ready for this fight.