Dereck Chisora will meet Kubrat Pulev in IBF title eliminator
By James Dielhenn
Last Updated: 15/03/16 11:22pm
Dereck Chisora will face Kubrat Pulev on May 7 with a world title shot and the European championship on the line.
The winner will take a step towards challenging for the IBF heavyweight championship currently owned by Charles Martin, who will defend his title against Anthony Joshua on April 9, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Should Joshua win Martin's belt, he could be put on a collision course with domestic rival Chisora if the Finchley heavyweight can win a sixth consecutive fight against Pulev in Hamburg.
I'm not messing around. I'm coming to mess this guy up.
"Pulev has been on my radar for a while now,'' said Chisora. ''He's a great athlete and he has my respect, but come fight night, I'm not messing around. I'm coming to mess this guy up. I'm going to outwork him and out strength him. I'll be all over him from the first bell.
''I'm excited for the opportunity. This is a chance for me to prove myself against one of the top fighters in the division and get back into a position to challenge for the world title. I'm in great shape. I'm training harder than ever and I'm ready to go. This is going to be one of my best fights ever!''
New Zealand's Joseph Parker is preparing to battle Carlos Takam for the opportunity to become mandatory challenger for the IBF belt, while the winner of Chisora-Pulev will be next in line for a shot.
Chisora (25-5-KO17) and 34-year-old Pulev (22-1-KO12) have fallen short in previous world title fights. Chisora, 32, failed to dethrone Vitali Klitschko in 2012 and two years later Pulev was knocked out in five rounds by Wladimir Klitschko.
Bulgaria's Pulev has won twice since his only career loss and insists he will spoil any potential for an all-British Chisora versus Joshua fight.
''This is a very important fight for me,'' said Pulev. ''I learnt a lot from the Klitschko fight, but now I'm back and stronger than ever.
''Dereck is a good boxer, but I'm better, and I know I can beat him. I'm looking forward to the challenge and the chance to win back the European title. I'm sure the arena in Hamburg will be full of Bulgarians cheering me to victory.
''I know I have what it takes to be world champion, and next time I will be successful."