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Anthony Joshua set to defend world titles against Kubrat Pulev on June 20

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 23-1 (21) will defend his titles against IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev 28-1 (14) at Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London, England on June 20.

There was speculation that Joshua would be stripped of his WBO title for failing to defend against the Puerto Rican sanctioning body’s belt Oleksandr Usyk, however that does not appear to be the case.

“On June 20, I am defending my heavyweight world titles,” said the 30-year-old Joshua.

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“I’m back in my home city after some time away. A spectacular stadium has been built in North London.

“I’m honoured to bring the boxing community from all over the world. To witness us make history with the stadium’s first heavyweight world title fight.

“The belts go back up in the air and nothing will stop me from being victorious.”

In his last outing Joshua regained the WBA, IBF and WBO championships with a comprehensive 12-round points victory over conqueror Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia in December.

The victory came after his shock seventh-round loss to Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden in New York last June.

Bulgarian veteran Pulev, 38, is confident he can spring the upset.

“I am happy to have the opportunity to show the world how strong I really am,” Pulev said.

“Becoming a heavyweight world champion has always been my mission in life. On June 20, 2020, I will fulfill my destiny!”

Meanwhile, Pulev’s promoter Bob Arum has warned Eddie Hearn, who promotes Joshua, to stop thinking about a fight with recently crowned WBC champion Tyson Fury 30-0-1 (21).

“I told Eddie Hearn, I said ‘Stop looking at a Tyson Fury fight this year. You’ve got to fight Pulev in June, and Joshua is going to get knocked on his arse’,” Arum told Ringside Reporter.

“I guarantee you that Pulev will knockout Joshua like Tyson Fury knocked out Wilder.

“So yes, I will look to make a Pulev-Fury fight to unify all the belts by the end of the year, but Mr Hearn will have nothing to do with it.”

Arum added that if Joshua does beat Pulev and Fury repeats his win over Deontay Wilder in their third fight expected to take place in July, then he would be willing to work out a deal to unify all four heavyweight championships.

“If Joshua beats Pulev and Fury beats Wilder, then why not do a Joshua-Fury fight at the end of the year,” he said.

“And we would certainly then sit with Eddie and work it out. So everybody is saying the same thing.

“But again, these fights have to play out first.”

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