Joshua confirms June 20 date for title defence with Pulev the expected opponent

Anthony Joshua has announced his return to the ring on June 20, when he is widely expected to face Kubrat Pulev at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Joshua regained his world heavyweight titles with a landslide points victory over Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia in December.

And his promoter Eddie Hearn has made no secret of his negotiations to stage the bout with Pulev at the 62,000-capacity Premier League ground.

Pulev, who is the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s IBF title, pulled out of a scheduled meeting with the Briton in 2017 due to injury.

Joshua’s hopes of facing Tyson Fury suffered a setback when Deontay Wilder declared he would trigger a clause in his contract for a third meeting with the new WBC champion.

In his only previous world title challenge, 38-year-old Pulev was stopped in the fifth round in a bid for Wladimir Klitschko’s IBF crown in 2014.