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Bob Arum confirms Kubrat Pulev won’t step aside to allow Fury vs Joshua

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The Top Rank boss gives an update on the state of Joshua-Pulev and Fury-Wilder 3.

Tyson Fury v Otto Wallin - Weigh-In Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Fans of the heavyweight division have followed the chatter, because chatter is all there is to take in while live fights are on ice.

Fans of Anthony Joshua have been quite curious, once the coronavirus dust settles, what will be first order of business for the Brit champ? He’d been prepping himself to take on the Bulgarian challenger Kubrat Pulev, who is promoted by Top Rank.

But then we hear word that maybe people would like Pulev to take a step-aside fee, so AJ could fight someone else. Maybe Tyson Fury?

So I put it to Bob Arum, who runs Top Rank. The Brooklyn-born deal-maker has been holed up in a California residence and is working on getting his Vegas operation back in gear. He’s working with the Nevada commission to put on live fights, in a responsible manner, and plotting out some framework of who will be fighting when. I asked Arum about Pulev, is he going to step aside so Joshua could fight someone else?

“No step aside for Pulev,” said Arum on a Saturday phoner. “I talked to Eddie Hearn (Saturday) morning about Joshua vs Pulev. It looks like it can’t be the UK, because there couldn’t be spectators. There looks like there are a couple other possibilities (for sites). It’s probably not gonna take place until later this year. And definitely not the UK. Also, for Fury versus Wilder, that’s looking like the fourth quarter.”

He’s thinking outside the UK and also outside the US. Things could change, Arum allowed, because maybe by, say, November, spectators will be allowed in places that now aren’t considering that setup.

In other words, he’s being flexible, because it is clear to most educated watchers, there is so much we don’t know about the behavior of this pathogen.