We got some insight into a possible pathway into the near future of the heavyweight division today.
Mike Coppinger at The Athletic wrote that he hears it is likely that if — and this is a jumbo if — Andy Ruiz makes it 2-for-2 against Anthony Joshua on Dec. 7, then the Cali boxer would probably give up his IBF title. Kubrat Puelv is ranked No. 1 by the IBF, No. 2 is open, and No. 3 is Adam Kownacki.
Rather than being mandated to meet Pulev, promoted by Top Rank, Ruiz would toss the belt up for grabs, and Pulev and Kownacki would clash for it.
So what has Kownacki heard about that plan?
“Nice. I like that fight,” the 30-year-old Polish-born New Yorker, holding a 20-0 mark, told me.
OK, and what happens in that bout? You like your chances against the Bulgarian Pulev, a 38-year-old with a 28-1 record?
“That’s why I do it. To beat everyone they put in front of me,” said the fighter who last scrapped in August, downing Chris Arreola.
How sure are we that this is how it plays out?
“I think that the only way that happens is if the title is vacated since Pulev is the mandatory and I’m next in line,” he said.
He hasn’t been told maybe where or when. Makes sense, being that we haven’t been told Joshua would make the same move as Ruiz, and ditch the IBF strap if he gets his hand raised in Saudi Arabia.
“Waiting to hear,” Kownacki said.
And did PBC boxer Kownacki watch the last Pulev fight? His thoughts?
“Yes,” he said of Pulev’s Nov. 9 victory over Rydell Booker. “Didn’t look that great. But you can’t judge a fighter after one fight. He is a a top notch fighter!”
But we are getting out ahead of our skis. Got to see how Ruiz vs AJ 2 plays out, and then we can really start wondering if Kownacki is truly very close to a title shot.