By Jacob Ajom
The WBO, IBF, WBF and WBA heavyweight boxing champion, Anthony Joshua has been advised not to bow to pressure and go ahead with a mandatory defence fight against Bulgarian heavyweight champion and IBF number one contender Kubrat Pulev. Rather, Joshua should let go his IBF title and wait to face the winner of the February 22 rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
Reacting to the promptings of the International Boxing Federation that Joshua must fight Pulev in a mandatory defence of his IBF belt, former British and Commonwealth Light heavyweight boxing champion, Peter Oboh said, “Joshua has no business keeping the IBF belt if he must fight Pulev now. He should let go the IBF title and rather wait for the outcome of the Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury rematch. He should take his time and prepare very well for any of them because that would make or mar him as a world-class boxer and best heavyweight boxer of his generation,”
Oboh who was also the WBA International light heavyweight champion acknowledged the influence of Bob Arum, Pulev’s promoter, saying Joshua must not fall into their trap and must have a clear head as to what he really wants as a champion.
“Arum is a legend when it comes to boxing promotion and management, he was manager and promoter of Sugar Ray Leonard and his power of negotiation is second to none. Joshua’s camp must remain firm and resolute. If Pulev’s camp is bent on fighting Joshua, they should wait for him to fight either Wilder or Fury first.”
Continuing, Oboh said “the best fight for Anthony Joshua now will be either against Wilder or Fury. That is what the boxing world wants to see. That is the fight that will prove so many assumptions right or wrong. Anything less for Joshua will be a waste of time and energy.”