Anthony Joshua will be stepping into the boxing ring again to defend his IBF and WBA heavyweight title against Kubrat Pulev.
The fight has been confirmed for Cardiff’s Principality Stadium next month.
The 27-year-old will fight his Bulgarian mandatory challenger on 28 October. The announcement came after a month of negotiations. It came after Joshua’s first-choice opponent Wladimir Klitschko announced his retirement from the ring.
A rematch with Klitschko would have been scheduled for 11 November in Las Vegas, which could also have hosted Joshua-Pulev.
Hosting this bout in front of an expected sell-out 80,000 crowd in Cardiff means Joshua is likely to be victorious. This then means he will pursue his US debut in 2018, should that come to fruition.
There had been claims the WBA could strip Joshua of its title. Amid the organisation’s preference for him to fight Luis Ortiz. But with the Cuban likely to challenge WBC champion Deontay Wilder, Joshua’s path appears clear.
He said: ‘October 28 can’t come soon enough. I have been eager to get back in the ring since Wembley. I’ll be locked away focusing on fight No.20 for the next eight weeks.
‘I am excited to experience the atmosphere in a sold-out Principality Stadium and aim to give the fans a spectacular night.’
36-year-old Pulev said: ‘We will not hug and hold, we will not run. We will stand and fight.’
Photo Credit: Karl-Ludwig Poggemann