- Hungarian bruiser Kubrat Pulev likely next challenger for Joshua
- Bookies believe Londoner will crush heavyweight challenger, with David Haye an outside bet
With Wladimir Klitschko deciding to hang up his gloves today, any talks of a possible Anthony Joshua rematch are now dead in the water.
Boxing pundits are now scripting a Joshua versus Kubrat Pulev showdown.
It has finally, if temporarily, shifted the focus away from the ‘Money Fight’ between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.
The Joshua-Klitshko rematch that had thrown the boxing fraternity into a frenzy, especially as Joshua’s thrilling win in London sparked the heavyweight division into life again.
Joshua is mandated to defend his IBF World Title and Pulev is the only mandatory challenger.
Hearn pressing all the buttons
Promoter Eddie Hearn is frantically working hard to finalize this title fight.
According to Sky Sports, Pulev is next in line as the IBF’s mandatory challenger, and Hearn has already started negotiations with the Bulgarian’s promoter Kalle Sauerland.
Speculation aside, what is the expectation for this fight?
Joshua might have eventually pounded Klitschko glove to glove in April but he will face a very different challenge in Pulev.
Coincidentally, the Bulgarian last suffered defeat three years ago after being knocked out in the fifth round by Klitschko.
That defeat aside, Pulev is a hungry fighter who is determined to leave his mark on the boxing hall of fame.
Pulev’s manager, Sauerland, has hinted in the past that if Joshua fights like a ‘novice’ the way he did against Klitschko, then Pulev will undoubtedly knock him out. Such is the confidence.
He also claimed that his camp rejected a Joshua vs Pulev fight last December as they expected a much more lucrative offer this year.
Joshua, holder of the IBF, WBA and IBO heavyweight belts, floored Klitschko after 11 rounds to extend his unbeaten streak to 19. Aged just 27, he is seen as the next big fighter in world boxing.
Popularly known as AJ, Joshua is described as an Ali in the making.
The markets are starting to shake up
With so much stacked heavily against Pulev, AJ definitely knows that complacency shall be his biggest enemy on the night.
But Pulev is not certain to be the next challenger – Ladbrokes is offering fairly short odds of 6-4 that he will be the next to face the Londoner.
But those in the know might fancy Cuban heavyweight Luiz Ortiz at 5-1 or even 50-1 for a bout with fellow countryman David Haye.
Want to try an online casino?
Choose an approved casino from our carefully selected list. VIEW CASINOS