Joshua’s heavy­weight ti­tles de­fence against Pulev con­firmed for Oct 28 in Cardiff

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS -

>> LON­DON: Bri­tain’s Anthony Joshua will de­fend his IBF and WBA world heavy­weight ti­tles against Bul­garia’s Kubrat Pulev at Cardiff’s Prin­ci­pal­ity Sta­dium on Oct 28.

Joshua, 27, had been pur­su­ing a Las Vegas re­match with Wladimir Kl­itschko, who he beat at Wem­b­ley in April, only for the Ukrainian to an­nounce his re­tire­ment.

In­stead, Joshua (19-0) will face IBF manda­tory chal­lenger Pulev be­neath a closed roof in Cardiff, paving the way for him to make his United States de­but next year.

“Oc­to­ber 28 can’t come soon enough,” Joshua said in a press re­lease is­sued by Match­room Box­ing.

“I have been ea­ger to get back in the ring since Wem­b­ley and now we are con­firmed and ready.

“I’ll be locked away fo­cus­ing on fight num­ber 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.”

Joshua’s pro­moter, Ed­die Hearn, said a crowd of 80,000 was ex­pected for the fight.

Pulev, 36, lost his only pre­vi­ous world ti­tle fight to Kl­itschko in­side five rounds in Novem­ber 2014.

“We will not hug and hold, we will not run. We will stand and fight,” vowed Pulev (25-1).

“His style fits mine per­fectly and in box­ing, styles make fights. My prepa­ra­tion will be very in­tense and I will be per­fectly ready when I en­ter the ring so that he will have no chance to beat me.”

Mean­while, former world heavy­weight cham­pion David Haye said he would re­turn to the ring be­fore the end of the year but re­mained coy on the de­tails.

The 36-year-old Bri­ton, who has 28 wins from 31 bouts, rup­tured an Achilles ten­don in his de­feat to un­der­dog Tony Bellew in Lon­don in March.

The former WBA heavy­weight cham­pion, who was ad­vised by doc­tors to re­tire af­ter he un­der­went ma­jor shoul­der surgery in 2013, has had long pe­ri­ods out of the ring with­out ever of­fi­cially call­ing it a day.

“I am going to fight again be­fore the end of the year,” the Bri­ton told re­porters at a news con­fer­ence to an­nounce the first event to be put on by his new pro­mo­tion com­pany Hayemaker Ringstar.

The main bout of the Oct 20 event will be the pro­fes­sional de­but of Joe Joyce, Bri­tain’s su­per-heavy­weight silver medallist at last year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Joyce, who turns 32 this month, has signed with Haye and will be fight­ing 35-year-old Bri­ton Ian Lewi­son.

“Joe has all the tools to be the best heavy­weight on the planet,” said Haye. “He’s called ‘The Jug­ger­naut’ be­cause he just keeps on com­ing.

Anthony Joshua, right, in ac­tion against Wladimir Kl­itschko.

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