Unified World Heavyweight Boxing champion, Anthony Joshua, is likely to face Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in his next defence. The Nigerian-born British boxing star had previously talked about reopening negotiations with Deontay Wilder, one of his two mandatory contenders. Nevertheless, Wilder first faces a potentially tricky rematch against Tyson Fury.
Now, it has emerged that Pulev, the IBF mandatory challenger, may be in pole position to face Anthony Joshua. Equally important, Nigeria is in the running as one of the six likely venues to host the bout.
In a chat with Seconds Out; John Wirt, who alongside Ivaylo Gotsev, represents the Bulgarian challenger is optimistic that their boxer will next face Anthony Joshua.
“We feel that we are very close. Things got pushed back due to the holidays and vacations; and the resulting delays in obtaining the information we need from the various sites to be able to compare offers. But things have been moving very quickly the last couple of weeks…We hope to be able to formally announce something by the end of the month.
Further, Wirt disclosed that bids have been received from a number of locations for the bout.
“[We’ve had bids from] the UK, Las Vegas, New York, Nigeria, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The favoured destination is the one that will be the most profitable,” he said.
Nigeria appeals to Anthony Joshua as fight destination
Anthony Joshua, born of Nigerian parents, often visits the country. Further, he has previously expressed his intention to defend his world heavyweight title belts in Nigeria. Equally important, Anthony Joshua has disclosed that his dream of staging a fight in Nigeria; began after a visit to the country in 2019.
“People had been telling me I should go back for ages. It was crazy because they don’t have 24-hour electricity but they still know me and support me.
“I went to the ghettos of the ghettos where it’s not all about egos and beef; it’s about people who are hungry to survive. It was one of the best things I’ve done. Africa’s rooting for me for sure, so I would definitely love to fight out there.”
If this comes to light, it would be the first world championship heavyweight fight on the continent outside South Africa; since the famous “Rumble in the Jungle” in Zaire in 1974 between two boxing greats, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.
On the other hand, Pulev has recently indicated his desire to have the fight in Turkey.