Klitschko-Pulev mandatory ordered
June, 7, 2014
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com
Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty ImagesHeavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko will make his 17th title defense against Kubrat Pulev.Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko's next defense is going to be against Kubrat Pulev, one of his mandatory challengers.
The IBF has ordered the bout and the camps are in their free negotiation period. However, if they don't make a deal, a purse bid will take place June 17. Klitschko is entitled to 80 percent of a winning bid with Pulev getting 20 percent, according to Bernd Boente, Klitschko's manager. Boente also told ESPN.com that the fight is likely to take place in September.
According to Lindsey Tucker of the IBF, the minimum bid is $200,000 (although if there is a purse bid, the winning bid will almost surely be in the millions).
Klitschko (62-3, 53 KOs), 38, of Ukraine, will be making his 17th title defense during an eight-year-plus reign. His 16 successful defenses during his second title reign are the third most in heavyweight history behind only Larry Holmes (20) and Joe Louis (25).
Klitschko moved to 23-2 overall in world title fights with an utterly one-sided fifth-round knockout of Australia's Alex Leapai, a mandatory challenger, on April 26 in Oberhausen, Germany.
Pulev (20-0, 11 KOs), 33, of Bulgaria, a former European champion, earned a mandatory position with a unanimous decision against American Tony Thompson, who had twice been knocked out by Klitschko in title fights, in August 2013.