With each passing day it seems more and more clear that Anthony Joshua will in fact be making his IBF mandatory title defense next, taking on challenger Kubrat Pulev. Both fighters were known to be in talks and things seemed to be heating up as they both recently requested an extension on an IBF deadline to come to an agreement for the title defense.
Well, negotiations have been progressing enough to the point with both teams have requested a second deadline extension from the IBF so they can finish their deal without the need of a purse bid.
“(We are) making great progress and closing in on a deal,” Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn told ESPN on Monday.
The need for this most recent extension is said to be because the promoters have been fielding offers from various governments around the world who want to host the fight and are offering site fees. It’s moving a little slower than hoped though, because with government comes all the bureaucratic red tape.
The good news is that this fight seems to be in the final stages of getting solidified which will help lay the groundwork for the heavyweight landscape in 2020. Joshua is most recently coming off a unanimous decision win over Andy Ruiz Jr. last month to recapture his world titles.