Kubrat Pulev has admitted he could step aside to allow heavyweight rival Anthony Joshua to fight Tyson Fury next instead.
Without doubt, the biggest fight which could be made in the heavyweight division would be the undisputed title bout between Brits Joshua and Fury.
IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev was AJs next assignment
In the immediate aftermath of the ‘Gypsy King’s demolition of Deontay Wilder in February fans across the globe clamoured for an all-British clash for all of the marbles.
With Fury now carrying the WBC belt, Joshua’s WBA, IBF & WBO straps can finally be put on the table in a winner-takes-all match.
But before Wilder even exercised his option for a trilogy fight, the looming obstacle of IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev cast a shadow on the horizon.
However, the 39-year-old Sofia-native could well be tempted into accepting a financial package which would be generous enough for him to step aside.
Joshua holds the WBO, WBA and IBF titles
“We have signed contracts for that fight and everything is ready,” Pulev, who had to pull out of a 2017 fight against AJ due to injury, told BoxingScene.
“We worked on this contract for maybe two months and it was not so easy. But now we have this contract and I am ready.
“I dont want to wait. I want the title fight with Anthony Joshua and I will beat him really good and get the second knockout against him.
“I am the mandatory challenger and these are the rules. It doesnt matter who wants to box him or who he wants to box. Anthony Joshua has to box me.”
Tyson Fury is the WBC and Ring Magazine heavyweight world champion and wants AJ next
However, when asked if he would consider letting the Brits fight first, the veteran appeared to have mellowed somewhat.
“I am ready for this fight against Joshua, so I dont know. Nobody knows. I want this fight,” said Pulev.
“When somebody comes to me and tells me something and offers me something, maybe. I dont know, but I want this fight.
“I am ready for this fight and I believe this fight will happen this year. Ive waited a long time for this fight with Anthony Joshua.
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“I am the longtime mandatory for this fight, but I am open for talking, no problem. But I want this fight. Thats it.
“I am ready to fight everywhere,” Pulev continued. “It doesnt matter if its London or anywhere else.
“Anthony Joshua said the fight had to be in London and I said, ‘OK, no problem.’”