Joshua: Eddie Hearn says Kubrat Pulev first on Anthony Joshua's list, despite Deontay Wilder's claim
By Tim Hobbs
Last Updated: 04/08/17 2:03pm
Eddie Hearn has dismissed Deontay Wilder's heavyweight unification claim, saying he expects Kubrat Pulev to be Anthony Joshua's next opponent.
The WBC champion, 'Bronze Bomber', says he is ready to fight the WBA and IBF holder following Wladimir Klitschko's retirement and will overrule the mandatory challengers already stipulated.
The WBA have ordered Joshua to fight their mandatory challenger Luis Ortiz after Klitschko's announcement, with the IBF's June statement confirming their No 1, Pulev, will be next to face Joshua.
Promoter Hearn is already working on the British star's next fight but while he admits it will be "tough", he had no qualms putting Wilder at the bottom of his list.
"Rather than fight anyone of note all Wilder does is call out people he knows can't fight him," Hearn exclusively told Sky Sports.
"The IBF resolution following the Klitschko fight is a public document for everyone to see: 'after the rematch there will be no request for a unification considered by the IBF'.
"Obviously we now have to fight Pulev and Ortiz and it's going to be a tough balancing act. The Pulev mandatory was called some time ago and we already have signed correspondence that if it's not Klitschko then Pulev must be next.
"I would say right now the plan is Pulev, Ortiz then if Wilder still has a belt then AJ can relieve him of that next summer."
The IBF was Joshua's first world title success, with a second-round knockout of then-champion Charles Martin in April 2016.
Joshua added the vacant WBA Super title to his name with the sensational 11th-round stoppage of Klitschko a year later and with two of the four established belts in his possession, the 27-year-old wants to unify the heavyweight division no matter who he has to beat.
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"AJ is 100 per cent up for fighting Pulev, 100 per cent up for fighting Ortiz and 100 per cent up for fighting Wilder and he wants to do it in a way to try and capture all belts," said Hearn.
"It's going to be difficult but let me tell you this young man fears no one."