Hughie Fury "mentally stronger" ahead of Kubrat Pulev bout

Hughie Fury in action during the open workout at the Serdika Cente in Sofia Bulgaria-cbb6

Hughie Fury in action during the open workout at the Serdika Cente in Sofia Bulgaria-cbb6

Fury stopped Sam Sexton in five rounds to become British champion in May and is the IBF's second highest ranked boxer behind veteran Pulev, who will have home advantage at the Arena Armeec in Sofia. Anxious about the cut, Fury fought the rest of the fight on the back foot, trying to protect his eye, but he was continually caught by Pulev's leading left hand. The 37-year-old Pulev pressed the action and generally landed the cleaner punches. That allowed Pulev recovered.

Fury, from Bolton, finally took his chance in the eighth round when he rocked Pulev with a right hand, and the Bulgarian looked in trouble while he tried to avoid further damage. Fury, 24, was repeatedly backed into a corner in the fifth round as he hoped to set a trap for Pulev and land a big right.

Should Pulev face Joshua, it will be his second world title fight.

The Bulgarian consequently became the IBF's number one contender and will get another chance to take on Joshua, having pulled out of a scheduled bout past year with a shoulder injury.

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Tyson must overcome the odds by beating the brash American knockout artist Deontay Wilder, while Hughie must first navigate his way to becoming the first man since Wladimir Klitschko to beat Pulev in his backyard.

The IBF is notorious for forcing its champions to face their mandatory challengers or to vacate the belt.

In October past year, Pulev was supposed to fight the British, but was injured and lost the ability vgboxart at Wembley.

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