Kubrat Pulev

Kubrat Pulev warns Anthony Joshua he will not step aside for Tyson Fury bout

The Bulgarian is mandatory challenger for Joshua's IBF title but their planned bout on 20 June was postponed.

It led to talk of Pulev being paid to step aside so Joshua could face Tyson Fury for all four heavyweight belts.

"I can't understand why we are still postponing instead of fixing a date and venue and getting to work?" said Pulev.

"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."

AJ fight set to be at Spurs' home

Saudi Arabia hosted Joshua's previous outing, the heavyweight regaining the IBF, WBA and WBO titles with a unanimous points win in his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in December.

Having avenged the only defeat of his professional career at the end of last year, the 30-year-old is now keen for a homecoming in 2020.

His last bout on English soil was back in September 2018, when he stopped Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium. The initial encounter with Ruiz took place in New York the following June, at the famous Madison Square Garden.

Takam called in to fight Joshua

Joshua, who boasts a 19-0 professional record, was expected to put his belts on the line against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev on October 29, however an injury to Pulev in sparring put the bout in doubt. 

On Tuesday (NZ time), the IBF No 1 and current mandatory contender was forced to withdraw due to the muscle tear in his shoulder and Takam was officially called in for the bout.

The 36-year-old currently sits immediately below Pulev in the IBF ratings, and was the top target for Joshua's manager Eddie Hearn should Pulev pull out of the fight.

Pulev pulls out of AJ fight

Unbeaten powerhouse Joshua was due to take on Bulgarian Pulev in his first fight since defending his IBF belt and claiming the WBA and IBO straps by defeating Wladimir Klitschko in an epic encounter at Wembley in April.

However, Pulev - the IBF's mandatory challenger - is not fit to participate in the bout, which was scheduled to take place in Cardiff on October 28, having strained muscles in a sparring session.

Promoters Matchroom confirmed the IBF's third-ranked fighter Takam as replacement for Pulev on Monday.