Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev – Can Pulev pull off an upset and KO AJ?

14th September 2021

Read More: Check out the free Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev predictions & tips 

All eyes will be on the SSE Arena in London on Saturday evening when Anthony Joshua puts his WBA (Super), IBO, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles on the line against Kubrat Pulev.


The main thought on everyone’s mind is – which AJ will show up on Saturday?


Will we see the AJ that has walked through his opposition, the one who stopped Wladimir Klitschko, the one who knocked out Dillian Whyte and Charles Martin or will we see the out of shape Joshua who was dominated and humiliated by Andy Ruiz in 2019?


That defeat against Ruiz was a wake-up call for the British fighter, he regrouped and went over to Saudia Arabia and wrestled his belts back by outboxing the American. Only time will tell whether he remains focused for his bout against Pulev, or whether or not he gets complacent again.


This is not a friendly sparring bout, an appearance on a TV show or even the filming of a new television advert. This is the real deal. If Joshua is not 100% focused on Pulev, he could end up with egg on his face yet again.


Hopefully, for the sake of the future of heavyweight boxing, Joshua knows what he wants to achieve in the sport and remains driven to be the best.


Who is the guy standing in his way on Saturday evening?


The 39-year-old Bulgarian, who is nicknamed ‘The Cobra’, has been a professional boxer since 2009 and despite having held the IBF International title, European heavyweight title and the WBA Inter-Continental title, this is only his second ever major title fight.

The one and only title opportunity came in 2014 when he travelled to Germany to take on Wladimir Klitschko. He was knocked out in the fifth round and that has been his only defeat to date.


As an amateur, Pulev won Gold medals at the European Championships in Liverpool and the EU Amateur Boxing Championships in Madrid. Since making his professional debut, Pulev has fought 29 times with 28 wins and just that one loss. He has won 14 by knockout with the remaining 13 by decision.

You may still be thinking, ‘why do I know Kubrat Pulev?’ Well, you should do, he was scheduled to fight Joshua at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on October 28, 2017. The fight was cancelled 12 days before the bout because Pulev had picked up an injury. Carlos Takam took his place and put in a strong performance before being stopped in the 10th round.

It has taken a long time for Pulev to get back in the title reckoning and he will be determined to take his chance in London on December 12.


Can Pulev become world champion?


In all honesty, NO.

The Bulgarian is a tough fighter but having sat through his tedious bout with Hughie Fury in October 2018 I do not want him to be world champion. I made a comment at the time that I don’t think my wife and I had cuddled each other as much as Fury and Pulev.

Joshua won’t stand for all that holding, if Pulev comes with those tactics then he will get angry and will go for the knockout.


Can Pulev KO AJ?


Again, the simple answer is NO.

If Pulev comes to fight and really believes he can defeat Joshua, then we are in for a good fight. If he gets stunned early and starts to back off, then AJ will pick him apart.

Pulev needs to attack Joshua from the off to get any success, if not AJ could play with him for 12 rounds and win by a unanimous decision, or he could just plain and simply get him out of there early on.






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