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A J to fight Pulev in June 20th at Tottenham

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Pulev is Joshua’s mandatory challenger for the IBF version of the heavyweight title.

For the first time since 2018, unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will be fighting in front of his home fans in the United Kingdom.

It was officially announced on Monday that Joshua, who holds the IBF, WBA, and WBO titles, will take on IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on June 20th at the recently opened Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Sky Box Office will carry the pay-per-view in the United Kingdom, while DAZN has international rights to the bout.

Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) is one of the biggest stars in boxing and was considered by many to be the #1 heavyweight entering 2019. That all changed when he suffered a shocking TKO loss to the unheralded, short notice replacement Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden last June. Joshua was knocked down four times in the contest and his United States debut proved calamitous. An immediate rematch was booked for December, with Joshua working largely behind his jab to get a comfortable decision over Ruiz in Saudi Arabia. Joshua has notably beaten Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin, and reached superstar status with his dramatic TKO of Wladimir Klitschko in 2017.

Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) previously challenged for heavyweight gold in 2014, losing by TKO to Wladimir Klitschko in what proved to be a spirited effort. The 38-year-old Bulgarian has won eight straight since then, including decisions over Dereck Chisora and Hughie Fury (cousin of current WBC and lineal heavyweight king Tyson Fury). Last year, following a KO victory over Bogdan Dinu, Pulev came under fire for forcibly kissing reporter Jennifer Ruvalo on the lips during an interview. The California State Athletic Commission suspended Pulev’s license but reinstated him after he completed a sexual harassment prevention course.

This fight was actually supposed to happen back in 2017, but Pulev withdrew to injury and was replaced by Carlos Takam. Truth be told, while not some gross mismatch, it is hard to see how Pulev joins Ruiz in pulling off an incredible upset against AJ.

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