Anthony Joshua’s first fight since his epic Wembley Stadium battle with Wladimir Klitschko is a done deal for October.
Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs), the reigning IBF and WBA heavyweight champion, will put his belts on the line against Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) on October 28th at the 74,000+ capacity Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Pulev confirmed the news on his Facebook page, and Matchroom Boxing (which promotes Joshua) will make an official announcement on Tuesday.
Initially, Joshua was set to rematch Klitschko in November in Las Vegas, Nevada. When Wladimir announced his retirement, Joshua’s team turned its attention to Pulev, who’s the IBF’s mandatory challenger. Joshua was initially granted a one-time exception to pursue another fight with Klitschko, whom he defeated by 11th round TKO back in April.
Pulev’s only pro defeat was by KO to Wladimir Klitschko in 2014. He’s coming off a unanimous decision win over former title challenger Kevin Johnson, and also has notable victories over Dereck Chisora and Tony Thompson. He’s a consensus top-10 heavyweight and is quite skilled, but obviously doesn’t have much in the way of punching power.
There’s little doubt that Pulev will be a heavy underdog vs. the Brit, but he’s one of the better matchups for Joshua in lieu of immediately facing Deontay Wilder, who is supposed to fight Luis Ortiz on November 4th. It should be noted that Ortiz is Joshua’s WBA mandatory challenger, so he’s also in line to face Joshua next.
While Joshua vs. Pulev will be on Sky Sports Box Office in the United Kingdom, fans in the United States can expect to see this matchup air live on Showtime, which has an exclusive television contract with Joshua.