Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will face Kubrat Pulev on October 28, it was confirmed on Tuesday.
News that the bout will go ahead at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff came via Joshua on Twitter, with the Briton's IBF, WBA and IBO titles on the line:
Anthony Joshua @anthonyfjoshua
https://t.co/ooyjHRb26q 💥 https://t.co/L9g1f452PJ2017-9-5 10:04:23
After the fight was confirmed, Joshua said he was desperate to get back in action again.
"I've been eager to get back in the ring since Wembley and now we’re confirmed and ready," he said, per David Anderson of the Daily Mirror. "I'll be locked away, focusing on fight No 20 for the next eight weeks. I’m excited to experience the atmosphere in a sold-out Principality Stadium and aim to give the fans a spectacular night."
Pulev posted details of the fight on his Facebook page (h/t BBC Sport) on Monday. "My preparation is very intensive despite the little time left," he said. "I will be perfectly ready when I enter the ring, so that he will not have any chance against me."
Declan Warrington of the Press Association believes this will be an easy night's work for Joshua:
Declan Warrington @decwarrington
Joshua-Pulev confirmed for Oct 28 at Cardiff's Principality Stadium. If ever there was an opponent made for Joshua...2017-9-5 10:02:09
Joshua was initially expected to have a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko, as the two men produced an epic encounter in April, with the former emerging victorious. However, Klitschko's decision to retire dashed those hopes.
The heavyweight king will now face Pulev, who is the mandatory IBF title challenger. The Bulgarian, now 36, has won 25 of his 26 professional contests, with Klitschko administering his only defeat.
For Pulev, the fight will represent the second big chance in his career to make his mark on the world stage. Confidence should be high, too, as he has strung together five consecutive wins since losing to the legendary Ukrainian three years ago.
As noted by Boxing Kingdom, it's a bout he has been waiting for:
Boxing Kingdom @BoxingKingdom14
Pulev has been offered the AJ fight 3 times. He stayed patient and now gets top $ as mandatory rules. But he's getting drilled within 6!2017-8-3 12:55:37
That's not a surprise given Joshua's pedigree in the sport as it stands; his professional record stands at 19 wins from 19 fights after beating Klitschko, with all them coming inside the scheduled distance.
Since arriving on the scene, there's never been any doubt about Joshua's heavy hands, as he's floored every opponent with his blend of power and accuracy. Once the Briton has his rival on the back foot, he's difficult to halt.
Any doubts about Joshua's temperament and chin were dismissed by his awesome win over Klitschko, as he hauled himself off the canvas to stop the great man in the penultimate round. At the moment, he's the complete heavyweight package, and Pulev is set for a testing evening.