After a lot of back and forth, it seems that unified heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua has finally reached final terms with Kubrat Pulev to make his mandatory IBF title defense.
The two sides were known to have been negotiating terms for Joshua’s next outing, but last week the fighters reached an impasse over the site for the fight, with Joshua wanting to defend in the U.K. and Pulev believing he can’t get a fair shake there.
That impasse led to the IBF scheduling a purse bid for tomorrow, where the promotional rights to the fight would’ve been up for grabs. That’s not something that Hearn and Joshua were probably up for, so ultimately it seems this boiled down to money.
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn informs ESPN that Joshua ended up taking less money than he otherwise could’ve made just to ensure the fight would be held at home on June 20, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
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“Joshua’s probably taking a third of what he could make against Pulev to fight in the U.K next, because he wants to fight in the U.K.”
Now Joshua will put three of his major world titles on the line versus Pulev for the first time since winning them back from Andy Ruiz last December.
“I’m back in my home city after some time away,” Joshua said in announcing the fight. “A spectacular stadium has been built in North London and I’m honored to bring the boxing community from all over the world to witness us make history with the stadium’s first heavyweight world title fight. The belts go back up in the air and nothing will stop me from being victorious.”
John Wirt, president of Pulev co-promoter Epic Sports and Entertainment, added: “This fight has been a long time coming, but we finally have Joshua cornered, and on June 20, I guarantee Pulev will be victorious and Great Britain’s recently acquired chokehold on the heavyweight division championship will be brought to a quick and sudden ending.”
On Feb. 22, Tyson Fury knocked out Deontay Wilder to claim his title, giving British fighters a hold on all four major belts.
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