Anthony Joshua with next face Kubrat Pulev in London
Anthony Joshua with next face Kubrat Pulev in London Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: The much-anticipated match-up between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury won’t be happing soon as Britain’s unified world heavyweight champion has announced his next title defence will be against IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev at The O2 in London on December 12.

Fury, who has been left in the lurch after talks broke down for a third fight with American Deontay Wilder, has been left searching for a new opponent.

Having cold-shouldered WBC champion Fury, Joshua told Sky Sports News: “The situation with him and Wilder, now he’s up in the air, what he’s doing. It’s just a bit of a circus going on. When it’s solidified, you’ll hear it from me. Until then, I’m not really into the whole circus act and trying to promote my name off his back and him doing the same.

“I’m keen to fight him for sure, he’s a competitor in my division. A good one as well. It will give me a chance to showcase what I’m about as well.”

Joshua (24 fights, 23 wins, 1 loss) regained his WBA, IBF and WBO belts when he defeated Andy Ruiz Jr in December in Saudi Arabia last year, less than six months after his shock first professional defeat to the Mexican in New York.

Looking ahead to the fight against Bulgaria’s Pulev (29-28-1) who suffered his only career defeat to Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015, Joshua said:

“I had my little slip-up last year (against Ruiz). We’ve brushed it off and we’ve got the belts back and now I’m going to go out there and get back on the gravy train and fight the likes of Fury 100 per cent.

“But without getting past Kubrat Pulev, who is a serious competitor and challenger, there aren’t no talks of Tyson Fury and stuff like that. It’s a tough game I’m in, because as I said it’s the pot of gold at the end of rainbow, but before that I’ve got to navigate my way through and Pulev is a big old heavyweight standing in the way of that pot of gold,” he added.

“I’m still very hungry and disciplined, so I want to steamroll through him. That’s the fighter’s talk coming out. With that being said, it takes a lot of training in the gym and that is what training camp is about.”