Anthony Joshua will defend his IBF heavyweight title against mandatory challenge Kubrat Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur’s 62,000-seater stadium on June 20th.
Joshua regained the IBF, WBA, IBO and WBO heavyweight titles in December when he avenged June’s loss to Andy Ruiz comfortably defeating the Mexican via decision over 12 rounds.
The 30-year-old will now face his first defence as champion once again when he takes on the Bulgarian heavyweight on June 20th in London.
Pulev is a 38-year-old fighter who is 28-1 in his professional career and previously challenged for the IBF heavyweight crown in 2014 back when it belonged to Wladimir Klitschko, however he suffered a fifth-round defeat.
The Bulgarian has been undefeated since then however and has put away the likes of Hughie Fury and Derrick Chisora on his eight-fight win streak.
Pulev and Joshua had been scheduled to square off for the title in 2017 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff however the challenger was forced to pull out of the bout on 12 days notice with Carlos Takam stepping in and eventually losing.
“The contract is already officially signed,” the 38-year-old wrote on his Facebook page. “I am happy to be able to show the world how strong I am.”
Should Joshua manage the tricky test that Pulev will no doubt provide, it is expected that he could be set for an all-British heavyweight title unification against newly crowed WBC champion Tyson Fury – provided he can once again get the better of Deontay Wilder.
Fury defeated the former champion via a seventh round stoppage in their title rematch in Las Vegas last Saturday night, with Wilder reportedly already exercising the clause in his contract for a trilogy fight in the summer.
Bob Arum, of Top Rank Boxing, confirmed that the pair would be squaring off one final time and that the bout is expected to be in mid-July ‘before the Olympics.’