Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev – Has AJ learned from his past mistakes?Published on: December 11, 2020Author: Dave Kuzio
Anthony Joshua puts his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles on the line this Saturday when he faces Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev at The SSE Arena in London.
This will be the Watford fighters second defence of his titles after he won them back from Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia last December.
Joshua originally lost his titles as he underestimated the challenger when he made his American debut at Madison Square Garden, he cannot afford to do that against Pulev.
How does Pulev defeat AJ?
Without being too disrespectful to Pulev, I honestly think if Joshua loses this fight it’s because he defeated himself rather than losing to the Bulgarian.
How does that work? I hear you scream. Well, if AJ walks into the SSE Arena believing he will just walk through Pulev then he could once again be in for a rude awakening.
AJ will never agree with this, but he did underestimate Ruiz in New York, he just thought he had to turn up and put on a show for the American audience and fly back to England still heavyweight champion.
Joshua looked comfortable in the opening rounds and looked certain to end this one quickly as he sent Ruiz crashing to the canvas in the third round. That ended up being the turning point of the fight, but not in the way we all expected.
Seconds after being on the floor, Ruiz rallied and knocked Joshua off his feet. After that knockdown Joshua looked uneasy on his feet and looked vulnerable for the first time in his professional career. He was then sent to the canvas another three times before the referee jumped in and stopped it in the seventh round.
There was a lot of concern about Joshua’s career as he looked to just give up after he was hurt number of times. It was obvious he was still a work in progress and had a lot of work to do in training to ensure he remained a big draw in the heavyweight division.
Which AJ turns up against Pulev?
Joshua did indeed work hard in the gym as he secured a rematch with Ruiz. Six months after losing his titles, Joshua went to Saudi Arabia to attempt to get back his belts against Ruiz.
The rematch showed that Joshua was up for changing his approach as he outboxed a clearly overweight Ruiz, and he ensured he wasn’t knocked down again as he kept the champion at bay with consummate ease.
Joshua cruised to a unanimous decision victory with the judges scoring it 118-110, 119-110 and 119-109. And if that Joshua turns up on Saturday, then he will have no problems in retaining his titles.
It all depends on how focused he is, if he turns up like he did in the rematch or against the likes of Wladimir Klitschko and Charles Martin then it will be an easy night for AJ. But, if he turns up overconfident and cocky like he did in New York, then Pulev will be like a shark sensing blood in the water and will take him all the way.