With less than two weeks before his upcoming IBF heavyweight title challenge, Kubrat Pulev suffered a shoulder injury that will keep him from fighting Anthony Joshua on October 28.
While not exactly confirming the exact type of injury Pulev suffered, sources did tell Fightful that Pulev is indeed injured. According to the source, Pulev will not be able to recover on time to make the title fight. Multiple reports are saying Pulev got injured during training, but several conflicting reports differ on what type of injury he suffered. Some reports say that he suffered a torn pectoral muscle, some say a chest injury.
Sources also told Fightful that the injury actually occurred sometime last week, but Pulev's camp wanted to keep it a secret until they could confirm, without a shadow of a doubt, that Pulev will not be able to compete. Pulev just recently went to get the injury checked out and that was when it was confirmed that he would not be able to recover on time.
Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed the news, saying Pulev suffered a shoulder injury and that Carlos Takam, who is the IBF's No. 3 ranked boxer and the current IBF Intercontinental Champion Carlos Takam. Takam has a 35-3-1 (27 KO) record and has won his last two fights.
The October 28 card is set to take place at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. The fight already sold more than 70,000 tickets in record time and was poised to break the stadium's boxing attendance record. Joshua's last fight, against Wladimir Klitschko in April, broke the all-time English boxing attendance record when approximately 90,000 people attended the fight at Wembley Stadium. Joshua defeated Klitschko in that fight to become the unified IBF and WBA heavyweight champion.
Joshua is the second world heavyweight champion to have his opponent drop out of a title fight with just weeks remaining before the bout. WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was set to fight Luis Ortiz on November 4 before Ortiz failed a VADA drug test and was pulled out of the fight. Wilder is now fighting WBC mandatory challenger Bermane Stiverne on November 4 since Stiverne was already fighting Dominic Breazeale on the undercard.
Although the fight might be off for October 28 and Joshua could be fighting someone else in Wales, Pulev will most likely still remain as the IBF's mandatory challenger, meaning that Pulev is still entitled to an IBF heavyweight championship match.