Bulgarian boxer Kubrat Pulev has warned Anthony Joshua he is “ready to come to London” to “bust up” the world heavyweight champion.
Negotiations to finalise Joshua’s next fight have hinged mainly on the location – the IBF, WBA and WBO champion’s preference is a UK homecoming after two fights abroad in 2019, and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has emerged as the “frontrunner” to host a fight in June.
Sky Sports reports that Pulev has mocked Joshua, saying:
“Calm down champ, I see that you are very worried to fight away from home and you are absolutely right to be, haha!
“But rest assured, if necessary I’m ready to come to London and bust you up in front of your own fans!
“Until then, tell Mr. Hearn not to get ahead of himself, we do not have a deal yet!”
Promoter Eddie Hearn claimed on Thursday a deal to pit Joshua against his IBF mandatory challenger was “very close”.
“We’ve had offers in from the Far East, Middle East, Africa, America, Turkey,” Hearn told Sky Sports News.
“He’s made it very clear to me, I want to come home. I want to box in London next. I’ve been to Madison Square Garden, I’ve been to Saudi Arabia, bring me home. Forget the other offers, bring me home.
“He wants to fight in London in June. We’re on the verge of making that happen now. Spurs is the front runner and that’s what he’s asked me to do. We’ll be delivering that for him.”
38-year-old Pulev has only ever lost to Wladimir Klitschko in 29 fights but has since beaten Hughie Fury and Derek Chisora. He was initially scheduled to face Joshua at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in 2017 but withdrew injured.
Oleksandr Usyk is Joshua’s other mandatory challenger but is behind Pulev in the queue, so is expected to fight Chisora before receiving his shot at the titles.
“It looks like Usyk against Chisora is almost there. It’s going to take place a few weeks later than anticipated,” Hearn said.
He added that “it looks like terms are agreed” for Dillian Whyte to fight Alexander Povetkin.
Have a story to tell, or images to share on a breaking news story? Send them to Shakarasquare WhatsApp or call