Anthony Joshua heading to Tottenham for title defence

Title defence: Anthony Joshua.Title defence: Anthony Joshua.
Title defence: Anthony Joshua. | PA Wire
Anthony Joshua will make the next defence of his world heavyweight titles against Kubrat Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.

Joshua, who won back the WBA, IBF and WBO titles from Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia in December, confirmed the date in a social media post.

It will mark the first time that the newly-opened 62,000 stadium in north London has staged a bout. The 38-year-old Pulev, who is mandatory challenger for Joshua’s IBF belt, had originally been due to face the Briton in 2017, but withdrew due to injury.

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Pulev’s team wrote on Facebook: “The contract between the two countries is already officially signed and the battle between the Bulgarian boxer, who is a mandatory contender for the belt of the International Boxing Federation (IBF)... is guaranteed!”

Pulev added: “I am happy that I will be able to show the world how strong I really am.”

The experienced Pulev last challenged for a version of the world title in 2014, when he was stopped in five rounds by Wladimir Klitschko.

Hopes that Joshua could land an imminent clash with Tyson Fury were dashed when Deontay Wilder exercised his right to a third meeting.

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Fury stopped Wilder in the seventh round of their WBC heavyweight title fight after the pair drew their first bout in 2018.

Wilder had 30 days to call a rematch and Bob Arum, Fury’s US promoter, says he has been “formally notified” by the American’s team that they intend to do so.

Arum told Ringside Reporter Live: “Wilder’s representatives formally notified us that they have accepted the rematch.

“It’s going to happen in the summer, before the Olympics.”

Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has already indicated that he is keen on the all-British showdown should both be successful in their next bouts.

Fury’s stunning win over Wilder has put the pressure on Joshua to produce a clinical performance against Pulev in order to boost his claims to be the world’s best heavyweight.