DERECK CHISORA will travel to Hamburg, Germany on May 7 to fight Kubrat Pulev for the European heavyweight title.
With Pulev ranked eighth by the IBF and Chisora ninth, the fight will be an eliminator for the world title – which Charles Martin defends against Anthony Joshua on April 9.
Boxing News have contacted the IBF regarding the mandatory situation and await a response, but it is believed that the mooted fight between Carlos Takam and Joseph Parker will be a final eliminator and the winner of that will become the No 1 challenger.
Chisora was in the running to face Joshua on April 9 but took himself out of the race in order to secure a fight with Pulev.
“Pulev has been on my radar for a while now,’’ he said.
“He’s a great athlete and he has my respect, but come fight night, I’m not messing around. I’m coming to mess this guy up. I’m going to outwork him and out strength him. I’ll be all over him from the first bell.
“I’m excited for the opportunity. This is a chance for me to prove myself against one of the top fighters in the division and get back into a position to challenge for the World title. I’m in great shape. I’m training harder than ever and I’m ready to go. This is going to be one my best fights ever!’’
Pulev has recorded back-to-back victories over George Arias and Maurice Harris since failing to dethrone Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015, while Chisora, who unsuccessfully challenged Vitali Klitschko for the World title in February 2012, is enjoying a fine run of form, which has seen him remain unbeaten in his last five outings.
“This is a very important fight for me,’’ Pulev said.
“I learnt a lot from the Klitschko fight, but now I’m back and stronger than ever.
“Dereck is a good boxer, but I’m better, and I know I can beat him. I’m looking forward to the challenge and the chance to win back the European title. I’m sure the arena in Hamburg will be full of Bulgarians cheering me to victory.
“I know I have what it takes to be World Champion, and next time I will be successful, but for now, all my focus is on May 7 and Chisora. This is a fight I can’t afford to lose!”