Kubrat Pulev says pulling out of the Anthony Joshua fight was tough but that his career was not driven by financial forces.
The 36-year-old Bulgarian had to be replaced by Carlos Takam on Monday after injuring his shoulder, with Joshua defending his WBA ‘super’ and IBF heavyweight titles in Cardiff on October 28.
When coach says you've 10 minutes left in the ice bath ?❄️? pic.twitter.com/GphiLB5tLY
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) October 17, 2017
Pulev opened up on his decision to withdraw on Facebook on Tuesday and said: “I am aware that the news of my injury and the subsequent cancellation of the game between me and Anthony Joshua for the world title surprised you.
“It wasn’t easy for me to make that decision! I know, in my place, almost everyone would choose to get into the ring in Cardiff, despite everything and collect a few million.
“Anyone else, but not me! In my life and in my world, it’s not all money. I’ve learned that a man goes into battle to win it. I understand that despite the vicissitudes of life, a man should not cheat on his beliefs.
“Anthony Joshua has to defend world titles against a strong rival and I’m glad he already has one.
“I’m still more thirsty for this battle, and I think it’s only a matter of time. It is such challenges that make my heart beat hard and feel that I am truly alive. In a week’s time, we tried everything to heal the injury, but everything needs its own.
“I take it as a sign. If God decided, then that’s how it was meant to be. Still, I will be myself and I will not betray my principles. A few million won’t make me richer or happier.
“My wealth is the undying love of the Bulgarian people, from whom I always buy strength and inspiration and that gives me the meaning of everything I do! Thank you from the heart of all Bulgarians for faith and support! We’re moving on!”