Anthony Joshua got his career back on track last December with a masterclass victory over Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia to reclaim his world heavyweight titles.
Six months on from his shock defeat to Ruiz Jr in New York City, the Brit produced a near punch-perfect performance in Diriyah to defeat the Mexican in the rematch.
Anthony Joshua is scheduled to take on Kubrat Pulev in London in 2020
AJ is now ready to put those belts back on the line, but the coronavirus crisis put that on hold.
Tyson Fury’s stunning win over Deontay Wilder led to calls for an all-British mega-fight between him and Joshua.
A two-fight blockbuster clash between the two has now been agreed but first, Fury must overcome Wilder after a third fight between the pair was booked.
Joshua, meanwhile, will look to warm up for his showdown with Fury by taking on the IBF’s mandatory challenger, Kubrat Pulev, in his next bout.
Joshua vs Pulev: Date and venue
Joshua was due to face the 39-year-old Bulgarian at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20 but that was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, promoter Eddie Hearn has told talkSPORT the fight is likely to take place in November or December at London’s o2 Arena.
Joshua has not fought at the o2 since defeating Dominic Breazeale in 2016.
Hearn has announced fights behind closed doors in the Matchroom HQ back garden next month, but this won’t do for AJ.
The Watford man can generate multi-millions in ticket sales and so is likely to wait until crowds return to the UK in some form.
Plan A, according to Hearn, is for Joshua to return to the 16,000 capacity O2 Arena in November.
Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev will face off at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Joshua vs Pulev: What about Tyson Fury?
It has been confirmed that Joshua will face Fury in two all-British blockbuster bouts in 2021 providing he comes through his clash with Pulev.
It is understood that the two camps have been in talks over an undisputed title bout since early May.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said: “It’s fair to say [Joshua and Fury] are in agreement regarding the financial terms.
“We’re in a good place. It’s fair to say that, in principle, both guys have agreed to that fight. Two fights.”
Meanwhile, Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, said: “The only way it could not happen is if one of the guys gets beat.
Fury and Joshua are the current heavyweight boxing champions
“Every one wants it to happen. For me this will be the biggest sporting event in this country with these fighters – four belts on the line, two Brits fighting for the world title, both champions. This is just mega. I think it’ll be the biggest sporting event in this country since England won the World Cup in ’66.
“[Fury’s] really happy… it’s something he wants, something he’s wanted for a long, long time.
“I think it’s a great fight for both of them and for fans in this country and round the world.
“It’s not going to get any more competitive than this.”
Frank Warren on Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua being agreed
Joshua vs Pulev: Tale of the tape
Joshua – Pulev
Nationality: British – Bulgarian
Age: 30 – 39
Height: 6ft 6 – 6ft 4
Stance: Orthodox – Orthodox
Reach: 82in – 79in
Record: 23-1-0 – 28-1-0
KOs: 21 – 14
Rounds: 103 – 203
Debut: 10/05/2013 – 19/9/2009
Nickname: AJ – The Cobra