Top Rank legendary promoter Bob Arum confirmed what’s been known for some weeks now – Bulgaria’s heavyweight Kubrat Pulev (27-1) will face the winner of the highly anticipated rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua.
“The Cobra” is the IBF mandatory challenger since last October when he dismantled Hughie Fury in his home town Sofia. Pulev, 38, who is fighting under the Top Rank banner was last seen in action this March when he defeated Bogdan Dinu in California, US. Since the rematch between Ruiz and Joshua is scheduled to take place on December 7, this automatically means Pulev will have to wait at least four months to get his title shot. Meantime, he’ll have a warm-up bout in the US, but more details are yet to be confirmed.
Pulev is not on the Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury level in the eyes of most boxing fans, as they wish to see a unification fight between the winner of Joshua – Ruiz and the winner of Wilder-Fury.
If such a fight is about to happen, there’s a big chance IBF allows the unification to take place, but the more realistic thing to happen is if the IBF titleholder vacates the belt and let Kubrat and the second-ranked guy fight for it.
“I know there’s a contract for Fury and Wilder to fight in February, and then there’s a rematch clause for whoever wins the fight,” said Arum to Behind the Gloves.
“So those two fights are done, sealed. And also, talk about Ruiz fighting anybody else after he beats Joshua because I believe he will [beat him again], because he’s obligated to fight Kubrat Pulev,” said Arum in pointing out that IBF mandatory Pulev is who the Joshua-Ruiz 2 winner must fight.