Anthony Joshua's next fight to come against Kubrat Pulev in Wales this October

Unbeaten unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has a date and an opponent for his return to the ring. 

Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs), fresh off an April knockout of former champion Wladimir Klitschko in their fight-of-the-year candidate, will take on mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on Oct. 28 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. The fight's American television home has not yet been announced, although Showtime has carried Joshua's recent run of fights.

A native of Watford, England, the 27-year-old Joshua formally announced the fight Tuesday on social media.  

"[Pulev] is game, he's ready and it has been a long time coming," Joshua said. "I can't wait to get back into the ring." 

Joshua and promoter Matchroom Boxing had been waiting to see in recent months whether Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs) would activate his mandatory rematch clause, providing boxing fans with a fall pay-per-view rematch in Joshua's U.S. debut in Las Vegas. But Klitschko, 41, instead chose retirement in August. 

With both fighters having been forced to get up off the canvas and fight on, Joshua's 11th-round stoppage of Klitschko in front of 90,000 fans at London's Wembley Stadium was the perfect launch toward likely worldwide stardom for the muscular, 6-foot-6 heavyweight. 

"Oct. 28 can't come soon enough, I have been eager to get back in the ring since Wembley and now we are confirmed and ready," Joshua said. "I'll be locked away focusing on fight number 20 for the next eight weeks. I am excited to experience the atmosphere in a sold out Principality Stadium and aim to give the fans a spectacular night."

Pulled (25-1, 13 KOs), a native of Bulgaria, has won five straight since his lone defeat, a 2014 knockout loss to then-champion Klitschko. The 36-year-old has good size at nearly 6-foot-5 and an aggressive style, which should make for an action-packed fight. 

"Anthony is a formidable opponent," Pulev said. "We will not hug and hold, we will not run -- we will stand and fight. His style fits mine perfectly and in boxing, styles make fights. My preparation will be very intense, and I will be perfectly ready when I enter the ring so that he will have no chance to beat me."

The fight will be the first heavyweight title fight in Wales since Lennox Lewis knocked out Frank Bruno in 1993. The fight's venue, formally called Millennium Stadium, was the site of a 2007 super middleweight title unification bout between unbeatens Joe Calzaghe and Mikkel Kessler which drew 50,000 fans. 

CBS Sports Insider

Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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