Anthony Joshua v Pulev Fight Night Preview: Joshua looks to retain his world titles on home soil against underdog Kubrat Pulev.
Anthony Joshua will fight Kubrat Pulev this Saturday night, with the Bulgarian looking to cause an upset. Joshua enters his first fight of post lockdown.
The Watford boxer will be putting his WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight belts on the line against the underdog. Wembley Arena will hold the fight with up to 1000 spectators expected.
In an interview this week, he stated that his uncle gave him a list of fighters to beat to be the best. This after turning pro after the 2012 Olympics.
“In 2013 my uncle gave me a list of heavyweights and [wrote next to their names]: ‘Chisora, Klitschko…’
“Pulev was on that list. It was a matter of when. He is still here. He’s been here for years.”
After 11 rounds in 2017, Joshua’s defeated Klitschko and was due to face Pulev, until he pulled out injured. AJ knows a win against the Bulgarian puts him one step closer to facing rival Tyson Fury.
The Bulgarian Pulev faces a tough fight going into Saturday night. He will be a massive underdog at the age of 39 when he steps into the ring. The two fighters originally were meant to meet back in 2017.
Unfortunately, an injury caused the Bulgarian to pull out. Despite his age, Pulev boasts an impressive record of twenty-eight wins and one defeat.
Being the widely regarded dark horse, Pulev is relishing the moments as he enters the fight under the radar. With the hype surrounding Joshua as everyone looks forward to the Fury showdown, everyone assumes this fight is a done deal.
“I like that people are talking more about Joshua versus Fury than Joshua versus Pulev. It is not insulting to me, I like it.
“I am happy because while he is thinking about something and somebody else, he is underestimating me and the current situation.
“This cannot insult me, my ego is not like that, it’s a good situation for me.”
Speaking in an interview after a heated weigh-in yesterday with Joshua he says that he is not afraid and told AJ that he is “amazing”.
Joshua Has Grown
Coming into this fight AJ has grown and matured considerably since fans last saw him in his victory against Luiz Jr.
After the Olympics, the Watford man had a cocky attitude to taking down each of the heavyweights that stood in his way. One by one he took them down from Klitschko, Parker, Takam, Povetkin, and others.
That was until he met the immovable mountain of Douglas Luiz Jr in June 2019. Joshua’s usual gun hoe approach to fighting appeared outdated against Luiz as he absorbed everything thrown at him.
The Mexican knocked Joshua down three times and the referee called the fight by the seventh round. However, with a rematch built into their contract this was an opportunity for Joshua to access his performance and adapt.
The rematch took place in December of 2019 in Saudi Arabia. Joshua completely changed his approach to the fight. AJ kept the Mexican at a distance and didn’t drag himself into a brawl.
He kept his discipline with jabs and constant movement and won overall on the judge’s vote. Critics were unsure of his performance. Some thought it was a tactical masterclass in boxing others thought it was a boring tentative affair.
Joshua has learned from his naivety after the shock defeat and will be sure not to make the same mistakes. AJ stated how the experience made him a better fighter.
“The pressure through last year was tough, but it made me mentally stronger and gave me a thicker skin.
“I have always been tough and wanted to fight the best”.
“I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
This will be Joshua’s first test since his rematch with Luiz. He will need to win to have any hope of the Fury fight speculation to continue.
Tensions High During Weigh In
Joshua and Pulev have set the scene for a fiery affair after Friday’s weigh-in. A bust-up resulted after the two stared each other down. Joshua looked at Pulev with disgust as the Bulgarian shouted in his face, “and the new!!!”.
The comment riled AJ as the two were pulled apart by security. However, the Englishman remained calm and composed while Pulev appeared to lose the rag. In an interview afterwards Joshua was poised, and calmly stated:
“I know what he’s like, I have studied him,”
The fighters were caught after the weigh-in arguing and getting in each other’s faces. AJ said to Pulev:
“Be humble, don’t come in here running your mouth off”
“I respect you, I respect you, but tomorrow, tomorrow I show you”.
Venue: Wembley Arena
Odds: Joshua win 1/10, Draw 40/1, Pulev Win 7/1
Channel: Sky Sports Box Office
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