ANTHONY JOSHUA will defend his WBA and IBF heavyweight titles against Kubrat Pulev at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on October 28. The Joshua-Pulev contest will headline the event which will be broadcast on pay-per-view platform, Sky Sports Box Office.
Joshua returns to the ring following his epic battle with Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium in April where the Brit added the WBA strap to his IBF belt in an enthralling contest with the future hall-of-fame legend, climbing off the canvas to record an 19th straight KO win in front of a record-breaking crowd in London.
The unbeaten Olympic gold medal hero will now tackle his IBF mandatory Pulev, the Bulgarian rated number one in the IBF facing his second world title challenge having gone down to Klitschko in five rounds for the IBF title in November 2014. ‘The Cobra’ became a two-time European champion after the fight with a win over Dereck Chisora, and the 36-year-old picked up and defended the WBA Inter-Continental title with wins over two former world title foes of ‘Dr Steelhammer’ in Samuel Peter and Kevin Johnson.
“October 28 can’t come soon enough, I have been eager to get back in the ring since Wembley and now we are confirmed and ready,” said Joshua. “I’ll be locked away focusing on fight number 20 for the next eight weeks. I am excited to experience the atmosphere in a sold out Principality Stadium and aim to give the fans a spectacular night.”
“Anthony is a formidable opponent, said Pulev. “We will not hug and hold, we will not run; we will stand and fight. His style fits mine perfectly and in boxing, styles make fights. My preparation will be very intense, and I will be perfectly ready when I enter the ring so that he will have no chance to beat me.”
“I’m delighted that we will be in Cardiff at the magnificent Principality Stadium for the next step of the AJ journey,” said Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn. “Nearly 80,000 will gather on October 28 to create another unforgettable night of boxing. Anthony will meet his mandatory challenger, number one ranked Kubrat Pulev and the card will be stacked with World championship action, domestic title fights and the very best young stars in the game. Get ready for the next episode from the biggest star in world boxing.”
“Anthony is a great champion and his last fight ignited the division,” said Pulev’s promoter Kalle Sauerland. “However, by his own admission, he is still learning and Pulev is not the sort of opponent you want to learn against. Kubrat and his train Uli Wegner – Europe’s most successful professional coach – have studied every weakness for the Cobra to strike victoriously.”
Mark Williams, General Manager at Principality Stadium which is owned and operated by the Welsh Rugby Union, said: “Our national stadium is a true Heavyweight when it comes to bringing major events to Cardiff and today’s announcement strengthens our status as a year-round, multi-events arena, in the heart of a city-centre renowned for delivering a Welsh welcome to visitors from around the world.
“2017 is undoubtedly our greatest year of events and we’re thrilled to be working with Matchroom Boxing to raise the bar yet again with the stadium’s fourth boxing event, and the first under the Principality Stadium name. We will continue to work with all our city-centre partners in the coming weeks in preparation for October 28.”
An announcement on ticket prices and on-sale dates will be made this week and the first undercard fights will be released in the coming days.