Pulev Team Incensed At IBF Granting Ruiz Exception

Any concern that Andy Ruiz Jr would lose his IBF world heavyweight title was assuaged on Tuesday, as the governing body has signed off on an exception to fight Anthony Joshua in a highly anticipated rematch.

The IBF, who stripped Canelo Alvarez this month after failed negotiations for a fight with Sergiy Derevyanchenko, will not strip Ruiz Jr, who was ordered to fight mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev.

Initially reported by ESPN, the IBF board of directors agreed on Monday night to grant the exception, but under certain conditions.

The first is that the Ruiz-Joshua rematch must take place on or before December 7th, the date Eddie Hearn announced on Friday for the Ruiz and Joshua return fight, set for Saudi Arabia.

Secondly, the winner of the fight must agree in writing that they will face Pulev for a mandatory defense on or before May 31st of 2020.

Also, the IBF demands that Ruiz “shall agree in writing to indemnify, hold harmless and otherwise reimburse the IBF for any and all legal fees or other expenses related to the granting of said exception, including, but not limited to, the costs attendant to any resultant litigation.”

Ruiz’s promoter Tom Brown paid a $20,000 fee to file the exception on July 24th, while a week later, Pulev’s co-promoter Epic Sports, wrote to the governing body to state their objections to Ruiz being granted the exception, with the IBF siding with Brown and Ruiz.

“We plan to appeal this,” Wirt told ESPN. “We will appeal the whole thing, but we want the conditions to be clear. One of our concerns is there is no guarantee the Ruiz-Joshua winner will fight Pulev next with no intervening bouts or that the winner will apply for an exception for a unification bout or another type of exception.

“The fact is, I’m not even sure Ruiz has even agreed to this fight being in Saudi Arabia yet. There are a lot of things unknown at this juncture. We plan to review the order and deal with it in due course.”

Initial Report: ESPN

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