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Joshua vs. Pulev: IBF orders purse bid for March 3

Anthony Joshua Kubrat Pulev

By Matt Lieberman: In an effort to speed up the negotiations between IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev, the IBF has ordered a purse for March 3 in their headquarters in Springfield, New Jersey. The Joshua-Pulev fight is supposed to be taking place on June 20 at the Hotspurs Stadium in Tottenham in London, UK.

It’s believed that Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is purposely dragging his feet in finishing the negotiations for him to finish putting the fight together with his IBF mandatory Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) because he hopes to match AJ against newly crowned WBC champion Tyson Fury.

Fans want to see Fury vs. Joshua next

In the best possible world, Wilder will choose NOT to exercise the rematch clause for a third fight with Fury, and he’ll let Hearn set up a fight between Joshua and Tyson. However, there’s a massive amount of money that Wilder would be walking away from if he elected not to trigger the rematch clause for a third fight with Tyson.

According to the contract, Wilder is entitled to 40% of the purse, as the loser, for the third fight with Fury. Wilder could potentially make over $20 million for the third fight with Fury. The Bronze Bomber won’t make that same kind of money fighting anyone else other than Fury or Joshua.

The big 6’9″ Tyson defeated champion, Deontay Wilder, last Saturday by a 7th round knockout in Las Vegas. Although Wilder confirmed on Monday that he will be triggering the rematch clause in the contract to face Fury in a trilogy match in the summertime, he still has yet to do that.

Wilder could be offered step aside fee

Fury’s co-promoter Frank Warren says they’re interested in trying to get Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) to step aside so that the Fury-Joshua fight can take place next. It would be up to Wilder whether he’d be willing to take the step aside payment. He’d still be able to fight the winner of the Joshua vs. Fury mega-fight at some point, and it would still be a massive fight.

“I prefer to go straight to Joshua, but that is the contract,” Warren said to BBF Sports Live on his wish to match Fury against Joshua next. “It has to be honored unless we can reach some accommodation for him [Wilder] to step aside. We could pay him to step aside if he wants to do that, but that is his choice.

“It would be lucrative for him, but I have spoken to his manager and Deontay does believe he has the beating of Tyson, and he can knock him out. I don’t believe that. I fancied Tyson to stop him before the fight at the weekend. If he insists on the fight, we’re locked into it.”

Assuming Fury’s management is able to get Wilder to step aside, it would be a huge move, as then Tyson could get the Joshua fight and make massive money. If Fury wins that fight, then he would face Wilder in a match that would likely be much bigger than if he were to face him straight away in the summer.


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