Bulgarian heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev is anxious to earn another shot at WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua – and this time actually get in the ring and fight AJ. As fans may recall, the once-beaten “Cobra” was to have challenged AJ last year, only to fall out injured with Carlos Takam taking his place.
Now, with the IBF ordering a final elimination bout between Pulev and Britain’s Dillian Whyte, Pulev sees himself as one win away from a go at the stadium-filling world champ. Nisse Sauerland, Pulev’s promoter, has told Sky Sports how his fighter has accepted the fight and is eager for it to go ahead this June.
“I just hope Dillian accepts it, we have,” Sauerland said. “We have accepted the position and we’re ready to go. We have worked with Eddie [Hearn] successfully for a number of years now. He is the most straightforward out there to work with and we believe we are as well. I think it’s relatively easy. Everyone wants the Joshua fight now. Everyone wants a Deontay Wilder fight. It’s exciting at the moment, the heavyweight division.”
And Sauerland, who says he and his brother are already in touch with Hearn, believes Pulev Vs. Whyte is a “big fight,” wherever it happens.
“Two great contenders, great commercial interest, and with a world title shot at Anthony Joshua on the line,” the promoter said. “The IBF don’t mess around with mandatories. If you get in that mandatory spot, you’re the mandatory. June could definitely work. Kubrat’s in training again. He’s recovered from the injury and ready to go again.”
Pulev, 25-1(13) last fought in April of last year, when he won a lopsided decision over Kevin Johnson. The 36 year old has won five in a row since suffering his sold loss, a stoppage loss to Wladimir Klitschko in 2014.
As for Whyte, 23-1(17) he has a number of options to look at, including the Pulev fight, a shot at “regular” WBA champ Manuel Charr, or Fres Oquendo should he beat Charr on May 4, and Whyte is also ranked NO-1 by the WBC.
Pulev clearly wants to fight Whyte, but will the London heavyweight look to go in another direction?