Anthony Joshua will put his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles on the line on December 12 at the SSE Wembley Arena in front of 1,000 fans.
Britain’s unified heavyweight champion will face off against the hard-hitting Kubrat Pulev, in what could be his final fight before the highly anticipated bout with Tyson Fury.
Joshua has been out of the ring for over a year now but with the announcement of 1,000 spectators being allowed in the arena to watch the fight, he’ll be hoping to get back to his best.
The last time Joshua stepped between the ropes was in a rematch against Andy Ruiz, as he avenged his knockout loss with a masterful boxing display, securing a unanimous decision victory.
Standing in his way is 39 year-old Kubrat Pulev, who boasts a similar record to ‘AJ’, having only lost once in his professional career.
The Bulgarian’s only loss was at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko back in 2014 and since that sole defeat he has beaten the likes of Derek Chisora and Hughie Fury.
“Joshua is still vulnerable and Pulev is a real tough, rugged heavyweight”
Bob Arum, CEO of top Rank Promotions
Joshua has been warned by promotor Bob Arum to not look past Pulev. Speaking on the Gary Newbon Sports Show, he said:
“Don’t make plans so quick for a Fury-Joshua fight because I think Pulev is going to beat Joshua.
“I think Joshua is still vulnerable and Pulev is a real tough, rugged heavyweight.”
British boxing fans will be hoping Bob Arum is wide of the mark so Joshua can set up a mouth-watering, all-British clash against WBC champion Tyson Fury.
In February, Fury made boxing history as he knocked out Deontay Wilder in the seventh round in what was one of the best British boxing performances on American soil.
Joshua vs Fury has been on the agenda ever since for most boxing fans and Joshua’s promotor, Eddie Hearn, is hopeful the fight will take place, he said:
“We just want to get that fight made. But first things first, we’ve seen it before at Madison Square Garden with Andy Ruiz when we were talking about the Wilder fight. This is it. This is the last hurdle – Kubrat Pulev, December 12.”
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing
Prediction: Joshua vs Pulev
Despite the bookies heavily favouring Anthony Joshua, this will be a very difficult fight for the Brit. Pulev has only lost once and that was against Klitschko at the very peak of his powers. The Bulgarian possesses a great jab and despite his advancing age, he has proved he can still mix with the best.
Having fans in the arena will be a huge boost for Joshua as he is used to fighting in front of packed out stadiums and as the fight goes on this could work in his favour. We are predicting a late knockout victory for AJ, as Pulev will slow down in the latter rounds.