Earlier this week we shared reports that the IBF had formally scheduled a March 3rd purse bid for Anthony Joshua’s mandatory title defense against Kubrat Pulev. The two sides had been negotiating behind the scenes for some time and it was widely believed that they would reach terms before the purse bid happened. Well, apparently not.
It’s now being reported that Joshua and Pulev have reached an impasse on the site for the fight, with Joshua wanting to hold it in the U.K. and Pulev’s team, led by promoter Bob Arum, strongly opposed to fighting there.
“Anyone talking about an Anthony Joshua fight with Tyson Fury is very premature,” Arum exclusively told World Boxing News. “Joshua has to fight Pulev and we have a big problem with the site. For Pulev and Joshua, the British Board are not being very co-operative. Pulev is now going to go to purse bid because he doesn’t want to fight in the United Kingdom.”
When Arum was pressed on why they don’t want the Joshua fight to happen in the UK, Arum simply responded by saying they won’t get a level playing field there. So now it seems the fight will actually head to purse bid next week where the fight will be up for grabs, with both Top Rank and Matchroom having a vested interest in promoting the fight. And if Arum manages to outbid Eddie Hearn for the fight, there’s a big possibility the fight gets brought to the United States.