Joshua vs. Pulev in April 2020, then Usyk later in year – Hearn
By Charles Brun: Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn thinks that Kubrat Pulev will be Anthony Joshua’s first mandatory defense that he takes care of in 2020 in April, but he still needs to speak with the IBF and WBO to confirm that.
Usyk will likely face Chisora in March
If that’s indeed the case, then the other mandatory Oleksandr Usyk will probably take on Dereck Chisora in March on DAZN and Sky Sports. When the smoke clears from Usyk-Chisora fight, the victor when move forward to face the winner of the April contest between Joshua and Pulev in the second half of 2020.
Usyk fights Chisora ”in early March, and then he fights the winner of Joshua-Pulev,” Hearn said to ESPN.com. Hearn seems to be pretty confident that Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) will beat former world title challenger Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs).
“The IBF seems to be the one that was certainly ordered first,” said Hearn to ESPN.com. “But I’ll need to speak to Daryl Peoples (president of the IBF), I’ll need to speak to ‘Paco’ (Francisco Valcarcel, the head of the WBO).”
Pulev has a nice little eight-fight winning streak going since his 5th round knockout loss to IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in November 2014. In that fight, Pulev went after Wladimir, and tried to go to war with him. That was the wrong thing for Pulev to do, as he was clipped by a big left hook and dropped in round 1.
Wladimir knocked Pulev down again in the 1st, and then knocked him down in rounds 3 and 5 with left hooks. The fight was stopped in the 5th after the 4th knockdown of the contest. What Wladimir showed in that fight is that the 6’4 1/2″ Pulev is a sucker for a left hook.
Joshua should have an easy time beating Pulev using the same punch, because he’s not improved in the last five years since his loss to Klitschko. If anything, Pulev has gotten worse. He’s slowed down, and he has nothing in his armament to keep the 6’6″ Joshua off of him.
Chisora has a chance to earn a title shot
Dereck has only lost to two smaller heavyweights in his career, and those were against Agit Kabayel and David Haye. Chisora mostly has struggled when fighting giant heavyweights like Vitali Klitschko, Tyson Fury and Kubrat Pulev.
The 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk is small at 6’3″, 215 lbs. He didn’t look powerful or all that fast in his recent heavyweight debut against Chazz Witherspoon last October in stopping him in round 7. That should be an easy win for Joshua if the two of them face each other in the 2nd half of 2020. But before then, it looks like Joshua (23-1, 22 KOs) will defend his IBF/WBA/WBO titles against Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs).
Hearn wants Joshua’s next fight to take place in the UK
There are six countries that are interested in staging Joshua’s next fight in April, according to ESPN. Although Hearn’s preference is to have Joshua fight at home in the UK, he won’t make as much money fighting there. He can make more money fighting elsewhere, but his loyal British boxing fans will need to travel to go see him.