WBA and IBF Heavyweight champion Anthony Johsua has nearly finalized terms with mandatory opponent Kubrat Pulev who will serve as his first of two mandatory foes the UK star must address after beating Wladmir Klitschko earlier this year. Pulev, who is best known for his knockout loss to Klitschko in 2014, had set some doubt that he would not be able to proceed with the title fight tentatively scheduled for October 28, but it seemingly all set to go.
Since the loss to Klitschko, Pulev has kept his head above water by stringing wins against dreadful opposition to the point where the WBA deemed him worthy of a mandatory shot. In his last fight, Pulev rattled the bones of Kevin Johnson in a stay busy fight. Not many are expecting Pulev to do much with Joshua, but Joshua may have another big challenge on the horizon should things stateside come to pass.
Beleaguered WBC champion Deontay Wilder has allegedly had enough of the valid criticisms against him in regards to the pitiful opponents he’s faced through his career and is nearing terms to face off against Luis Ortiz just one week later. Ortiz has been on the backburner waiting for his mandatory shot at Joshua as well, but the aging Cuban is not looking to waste any more time since signing with Al Haymon earlier this year. Ortiz has been inactive since last December, whereas Wilder last fought in February knocking out Gerald Washington in five rounds.
Though the news does come from the usually optimistic Eddie Hearn, who has done an incredible job turning Joshua into a mega star in the UK, both fights are not new developments and are nearing completion. Should they both come to pass and the winners do indeed go on to fight each other, then it will truly be a revival of the Heavyweight division in earnest.