Joshua to defend IBF title against Pulev in June

Kubrat Pulev announced on his Facebook page that the contracts for the fight had been signed, with Anthony Joshua also confirming the date.

Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev before a previously scheduled fight in 2017   -  Getty Images

Anthony Joshua will defend his IBF world heavyweight title against Kubrat Pulev on June 20 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Pulev, the IBF's mandatory challenger for the belt, announced on his Facebook page that the contracts for the fight had been signed, with Joshua also confirming the date on his social media accounts.

The Bulgarian had previously been scheduled to fight Joshua back in 2017 but suffered an injury, leading to Carlos Takam replacing him in a fight the Briton won in 10 rounds.

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There had been talk of Joshua eschewing his defence against Pulev to fight Tyson Fury following his compatriot's stunning win over Deontay Wilder last month, which saw him claim the WBC title.

However, Wilder's decision to exercise his rematch clause means a third bout with the American will be Fury's immediate focus.

That fight is likely to take place in July, with Joshua's meeting with Pulev to be held a month earlier in London.

A post on Pulev's Facebook account read: "The contract between the two countries is now officially signed and the battle between the Bulgarian boxer, who is the mandatory challenger for the belt of the IBF, and the British is guaranteed!"

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Pulev added: "I am happy to have the opportunity to show the world how strong I really am."

The 38-year-old fought Wladimir Klitschko for the IBF title back in November 2014, but suffered a fifth-round knockout in a one-sided contest.

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