Boxing-Joshua almost certain to fight Pulev next in Britain, says Hearn


LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters) - World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua's next fight is almost certain to be in Britain against mandatory IBF challenger Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria, the Briton's promoter Eddie Hearn said on Wednesday.

Hearn told Sky Sports television that a number of venues were being considered, in London and Cardiff, and the fight is likely to be at the end of May or in early June.

Joshua beat Mexican-American Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia in December to win back the WBO, IBF, WBA and IBO belts he had lost in New York last June.

That Madison Square Garden fight was Joshua's first title bout outside Britain.

Hearn said the Pulev fight should be finalised within a couple of weeks.

"Almost certainly that will be AJ's next fight and almost certainly in the UK," he added.

"The main issue we have is Pulev wants to make as much money for that fight as he can.

"There isn't as much money for that fight in the UK as there is elsewhere, but AJ has given me the instruction that 'I boxed in New York, I boxed in Saudi, I would like to do this one in the UK'."

Hearn listed Tottenham Hotspur's stadium in North London, as well as Arsenal's Emirates ground, among options that also included Twickenham and Cardiff.

Joshua also has a WBO mandatory challenger in Oleksandr Usyk, but the Ukrainian is expected to fight Britain's Dereck Chisora in March or April before having a shot at Joshua if the champion beats Pulev. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin Editing by David Goodman )

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