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Kubrat Pulev not interested in stepping aside for Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury

As Anthony Joshua’s IBF mandatory challenger, Pulev insists he’ll do everything to get his shot at the title.

Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev Press Conference - Principality Stadium Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Kubrat Pulev has heard the rumors that Anthony Joshua has been looking forego his mandatory title defense if it means that he can stage an undisputed heavyweight title unification with Tyson Fury. Fury is currently contracted to have a third fight against Deontay Wilder, but has at least appeared open to the possibility of facing Joshua.

But in all reality any potential Joshua-Fury fight won’t be next as Wilder has shown no indication that he’d be willing to step aside, nor has Pulev who insists he’s gunning for his shot at the world title against Joshua.

“He can’t face Fury because he has signed a contract to fight me. Besides, in this same contract there are clauses featuring some serious compensations [if the fight doesn’t happen]. In the meantime, Fury has a contract for a third fight with Deontay Wilder. Neither me, nor Wilder will give up on these fights.”

And when asked specifically about his negotiations with Joshua, who demands to fight Pulev in the UK, the Bulgarian heavyweight was asked about why he believes Joshua is so insistent about the location.

“I think it is obvious - because he’s afraid. I don’t see any other reason. Why should it be in London? Why the fight can’t take place in any other place? You answer this! We offered various destinations - from Istanbul to Las Vegas, New York or Saudi Arabia. And then I got the reply that Joshua would come up against me only in London. Otherwise there would be no fight at all. And of course, I agreed to this condition.”

Pulev, 39, is most recently coming off a unanimous decision win over Rydell Booker last November and believes that he’s destined to beat Joshua to become world champion, especially since Pulev believes Joshua hasn’t fully recovered mentally from his loss to Andy Ruiz last year. That part remains to be seen, but Pulev fully expects to test out that theory before the year is out.

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