SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev is “95 percent sure” that his fight against Briton Dillian Whyte, which will decide the challenger for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) world heavyweight title held by Anthony Joshua, will take place in Sofia.
Last month Pulev and Whyte were ordered by the IBF to fight for the mandatory position and the two will most probably clash on Aug. 18.
“It is 95 percent sure that this game (against Whyte) will be held in Bulgaria,” the 37-year-old Pulev wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.
“For me, it is most important to be able to make Bulgarian people happy, and such an event can really remain in history. There’ll be a real and incredible atmosphere.”
Pulev pulled out of fighting Joshua in October 2017 after suffering a shoulder injury. Joshua, who also holds the WBA, IBO and WBO titles, went on to beat his replacement Carlos Takam.
Pulev hinted that the fight against Whyte, who is also a contender for the WBC title held by American Deontay Wilder, could be held at the Vasil Levski national stadium in central Sofia to attract a bigger crowd.
Last year Pulev defeated American veteran Kevin Johnson in front of 15,000 spectators at the city’s Armeets Arena and pundits say that Whyte fight could easily attract more than 30,000 fans at the Vasil Levski stadium.
“The match will be staged (at a place) where as many people as possible can go and see it,” the Bulgarian added.
Pulev, one of Bulgaria’s most popular sportsmen, has said he has the weapons to dethrone Joshua. He turned professional at 28 in September 2009, less than a year after winning the European amateur super-heavyweight title in Liverpool.
Known as The Cobra, he previously challenged for the IBF world heavyweight title in 2014, losing to Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg on a fifth-round knockout. Since then, Pulev has won five fights in a row.
Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Christian Radnedge