World title fight: I can step aside to allow Joshua vs Fury fight – Pulev

Kubrat Pulev has hinted that he would be prepared to accept step-aside money if Anthony Joshua wants to skip their mandatory bout and lock horns with Tyson Fury next instead.

Joshua was originally due to face IBF mandatory challenger Pulev on June 20, only for their clash at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to be postponed as a result of the global coronavirus crisis.

It is not the first time the Bulgarian has hit a stumbling block in his bid to dethrone AJ, with injury forcing him to pull out of their first proposed meeting back in 2017.

And now reports suggest the Brit is looking to leave Pulev in the cold once more to set up and undisputed heavyweight battle with Fury.

Ever since the Gypsy King snatched the WBC crown from Deontay Wilder in February, talk of a showdown with unified champion Joshua – which would crown a first undisputed king of the division in two decades – has been rife.

Yet for that dream match-up to materialise both Pulev and Wilder, who has already triggered his rematch clause with Fury, would need to step aside and clear the path for an undisputed bout.

Wilder’s camp have already made it clear the Bronze Bomber has no intention of doing so, but Pulev says he would consider stepping aside if the offer is right.

“We have signed contracts for that fight and everything is ready,” the 38-year-old told BoxingScene.

“We worked on this contract for maybe two months and it was not so easy. But now we have this contract and I am ready.

“I don’t want to wait. I want the title fight with Anthony Joshua and I will beat him really good and get the second knockout against him.

“I am the mandatory challenger and these are the rules. It doesn’t matter who wants to box him or who he wants to box. Anthony Joshua has to box me.”
However, he then added: “I am ready for this fight against Joshua, so I don’t know. Nobody knows. I want this fight.

“When somebody comes to me and tells me something and offers me something, maybe. I don’t know, but I want this fight.

“I am ready for this fight and I believe this fight will happen this year.

“I’ve waited a long time for this fight with Anthony Joshua. I am the longtime mandatory for this fight, but I am open for talking, no problem.

“But I want this fight. That’s it.”

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