One day after heavyweight Bogdan Dinu and his management rejected an offer to fight contender Kubrat Pulev, they changed their minds and signed for the fight on Thursday, Dinu co-promoter Greg Cohen told ESPN.
Pulev and Dinu will meet in a scheduled 10-round fight that will headline the Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card on March 23. The venue was also locked in on Thursday -- The Hangar in Costa Mesa, California, according to Top Rank.
"After speaking with my co-promoter [Sorin Florea of Kings Promotion] in [Dinu's native] Romania, it was more of a misunderstanding than them not wanting to fight," Cohen said. "It was a language issue. We had been texting with each other. Once we got on the phone we were able to hash it out pretty quickly. We let Top Rank know and signed the contract. Dinu is looking forward to coming back to America to fight Pulev.
"If he beats Pulev, he writes his own ticket because it would be a huge win. I know they fought in the amateurs. Dinu is from Romania, Pulev is from Bulgaria. It's like if it was New York versus New Jersey in the U.S. They're very familiar with each other and Dinu is really confident."
Dinu (18-1, 14 KOs), 32, suffered his first loss in November, when top contender Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller knocked him out in the fourth round in Mulvane, Kansas, in what was Miller's final hurdle to a shot at unified world titleholder Anthony Joshua on June 1.
Pulev (26-1, 13 KOs), 37, is one of the mandatory challengers for Joshua. Pulev has won six fights in a row but will risk his guaranteed title shot in his first bout since he and Epic Sports signed a co-promotional deal with Top Rank in December.