Top Rank CEO Bob Arum is always one to speak his thoughts on all things boxing and had a chance to speak about his heavyweight contender, Kubrat Pulev.
Arum in an interview with Keith Idec of Boxingscene.com, feels that the fighter signed to his Top Rank promotional stable can defeat the now two-time champion Anthony Joshua.
“I think Pulev can beat Joshua,” Arum told BoxingScene.com. “I really believe that. Pulev is gonna come in in great, great shape. He’s gonna pressure Joshua. He takes a great punch. I think he has a hell of a shot with Joshua. So, we’re pushing for that fight.”
Arum thinking Pulev is no surprise to anyone reading this. The bigger surprise now will be who will Joshua face next after winning back the titles from Any Ruiz in Saudi Arabia this past Saturday. Arum feels that Joshua and his his promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing will honor the contract sit down to iron out the details.
“We have it in writing from the IBF that the winner of the [Joshua-Ruiz rematch] would have to fight Pulev by the end of May,” Arum explained. “Not only that, but it had to be the next fight [for Joshua]. That’s what they said, and we have it in writing. We fought for it, and they finally gave it to us in writing about two months ago. That’s a binding contract, and the other side agreed to that. When Eddie’s ready, we’ll sit with him and we’ll try to figure out what the purses are and where the fight’s gonna be held.”
One thing that seems to be already set is if this is the mandatory bout that Joshua takes next, it won’t be in the United States. Much conversation is about Joshua having a bout in the brand-new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. We spoke about this taking place in the latest episode of the Big Fight Weekend Podcast as host T.J. Rives has been to this state of the art facility.
Arum also is in agreement on it not taking place in the States.
“England has a couple of things going for it – they’ll get a great gate and they’ll do very high pay-per-view numbers,” Arum said. “In the United States, I don’t think [Joshua-Pulev] would do a great gate.”
It would be hard for me not to think that Joshua-Pulev isn’t the next for him in 2020. The one think that seems to be in question is will the WBO strip Joshua of the belt afterwards or be willing to wait it out afterwards.