At this point it’s all but a done deal that unified heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua will be making his IBF mandatory title defense in his next outing against Kubrat Pulev. Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn confirms that both sides are close to finishing a deal for the fight that he’ll likely stage in May or June in the United Kingdom.
“Almost certainly that will be AJ’s next fight and almost certainly in the UK.
”The main issue we have is Pulev wants to make as much money for that fight as he can. There isn’t as much money for that fight in the UK as there is elsewhere, but AJ has given me the instruction that I boxed in New York, I boxed in Saudi, I would like to do this one in the UK.”
A number of venues in the U.K. are still in play for this fight according to Hearn, and we should expect to hear more details in short order. In the meanwhile Hearn also confirms that Joshua’s other mandatory challenger, Oleksandr Usyk, has essentially reached terms to fight Dereck Chisora next, and that we can expect to see that fight come off in late March, early April.