Hearn blasted over Joshua vs Pulev delay

Kubrat Pulev’s co-promoter has blasted Eddie Hearn as the Bulgarian fighter sits and waits to find out when he will finally get his world title shot against Anthony Joshua.

The 39-year-old Pulev (28-1) had been supposed to face AJ (23-1) for the IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight belts at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20, but then the global COVID-19 pandemic intervened.

Hearn says the fight will happen later this year – likely in November in the UK. But Ivaylo Gotzev – co-promoter for Pulev along with Top Rank’s Bob Arum – is far from impressed and says the whole thing is taking way too long to finalise.

He told The Sun: “(Joshua) has to be back home where he feels the backing of the crowd and the fans, he likes being home sweet home. And we have agreed to give it to him, except they’re taking too long now.

“Eddie is known for saying one thing and doing another. He needs to organise his thoughts and form of doing contracts and obligations and dealing with people, because in the long run it’s going to create a lot of animosity and people are going to think twice about doing business with Eddie. Eddie does not come through as a guy who delivers on his promises.”

Gotzev says there were live options to stage the fight outside the UK – notably the Roman amphitheatre in Pula, Croatia. But he believes team Joshua wanted no part of that – preferring instead a home fight in the UK.

“The excellent offer (to stage the fight in Croatia) was there, but unfortunately there was never really any intent from their side taking the fight outside the UK from day one, it was all smoke and mirrors,” he claimed. “Once we realised that, we quit trying because there was no sense in continuing to do so.

While Pulev is currently a 5-1 underdog to beat Joshua and stun the world (AJ is a heavy 1-8 favourite), Gotzev believes AJ and his team are already looking ahead to that potential megafight with fellow Briton Tyson Fury. And he warned they should do that at their peril.

“They’re focusing too much on those big paydays and the big picture, but guess what, the big picture right now is Kubrat Pulev, that’s who they should be focusing on. And he will give AJ the fight of his life. Pulev will take him out of competition when he knocks him out.”

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