Kubrat Pulev has warned Anthony Joshua he has no intention of standing aside to allow the Briton to take on Tyson Fury in a huge heavyweight showdown.
Pulev is Joshua’s mandatory IBF challenger and he was lined up to take on ‘AJ’ on June 20 before the coronavirus pandemic halted the vast majority of sport across the globe.
When it was announced that fight was postponed, it was suggested Pulev could be talked into standing aside to allow IBF, WBA and WBO belt-holder Joshua a clear path at taking on WBC champion Fury in a mammoth unification bout when boxing was allowed to restart.
However, Bulgarian star Pulev says he will not accept being pushed to one side to facilitate an all-British fight at some point in the future and wants to start negotiations over rescheduling his Joshua clash (Pulev 6/1, Joshua 1/10, draw 33/1).
“I can’t understand why we are still postponing instead of fixing a date and venue and getting to work?” he said. “Enough is enough. I can’t wait to win this fight.
“I see how people are afraid of me and are trying to face someone else before me. That’s not how a real world champion should act.”
Pulev has been lined up to face Joshua twice before, first in 2017 when he had to pull out because of injury, and then when he was the mandatory challenger when Joshua suffered a shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr last summer.
Joshua has since won his belts back off Ruiz Jr in a rematch, while Fury defeated Deontay Wilder in their second bout to lead plenty of people to claim a Joshua versus Fury fight must eventually take place (Fury, 4/9, Joshua 7/4, draw 25/1).
But the match-up remains some way off following Pulev’s comments, while Wilder has also said he intends to take up his option of a third fight against Fury.
Pulev has gone as far to suggest Joshua will have to vacate his title if he opts against his mandatory defence and is frustrated with the speculation about how he could be stopped from taking on the former Olympic star once again.
He added: “A year has passed and they always have a reason to postpone, not to fight against me. There are two options. You either fight or vacate the title.”