Anthony Joshua will make his ring return this Saturday, December 12. Joshua vs Pulev will mark the first time the Brit has fought in over a year; since his recapture of the unified heavyweight titles against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua vs Pulev is the perfect build-up opportunity for Joshua Fury as Fury is signed with Pulev’s promoter Bob Arum and Pulev is the perfect opponent for Joshua to look spectacular against due to Pulev’s vulnerabilities including his declining punch resistance and limited ability. In addition, Joshua’s huge advantage in speed and power could see him knockout Pulev in devastating fashion.
Joshua vs Pulev will take place in front of 1,000 fans at the SSE Arena, Wembley and will be broadcasted live on DAZN worldwide and Sky Sports Box Office in the UK. Sky and Matchroom received a lot of backlash for pricing Joshua vs Pulev at 24.99 especially since Eddie Hearn assured fans this price point was a one-time thing for Joshua Ruiz 2 and not a permanent price for Joshua PPV’s.
As Chief Support, British, Commonwealth and European Champion Lawrence Okolie challenges for the vacant WBO World Cruiserweight Title against Poland’s Michael Cieslak. Martin Bakole faces Sergey Kuzmin and Hughie Fury returns against Mariusz Wach both over 10 rounds in exciting heavyweight encounters. Additionally, French olympian Souleymane Cissokho battles Britain’s Kieron Conway in the show opener.
Joshua vs Pulev: Unified Heavyweight Crown
Unified Heavyweight champion and superstar of British boxing Anthony Joshua fights a much-awaited clash against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev. Pulev was mandatory in 2017 but pulled out due to an injury and consequently replaced by Carlos Takam on 10 days notice.
Joshua won the IBF Strap against Charles Martin in 2016 and went on to unify his belt against Wladimir Klitschko the following year in what was the largest event in British boxing history having an attendance of 90,000 at Wembley and 1.2m buys on PPV.
In March 2018, Joshua battled unbeaten Kiwi Joseph parker in a 3-belt contest that saw him claim the WBO strap. In 2019 Joshua tasted defeat for the first time suffering the biggest upset in boxing history against late replacement Andy Ruiz Jr at MSG. He went on to rewin his belts in Saudi in his latest performance putting on a boxing clinic.
He now looks to a mega all-British undisputed clash with Tyson Fury but that is still unclear due to Fury-Wilder III talks and WBO mandatory Usyk alongside the outcome of Joshua vs Pulev.
Pulev fought Klitschko in Germany in 2014 for the titles but was knocked out in 5 rounds due to repeated left hooks. He rebuilt his career getting wins over Dereck Chisora and Hughie Fury simultaneously picking up the vacant European Heavyweight Title and winning a final eliminator to set-up Joshua vs Pulev in his native Bulgaria.
The 39-year old recently signed with Bob Arum and Top Rank and now train towards his final shot at a world title. At 39 though he is given little chance in Joshua vs Pulev by the media. However, the fans of Pulev and boxing experts know the qualities of Pulev including a phenomenal Jab and fundamentals that saw him become a successful amateur.
Despite this, we know what to expect from both men and the question in this fight is if Kubrat Pulev has enough to trouble Anthony Joshua? Are a tremendous jab and boxing fundamentals enough to beat AJ? Pulev has a lack of variety of punches with little body attack and punches outside straight long shots. Pulev lacks the ability to throw punches with speed, at short range and potentially vulnerable in defence.
We can expect Anthony Joshua to make a big statement on Saturday night and potentially stop Kubrat Pulev faster than Wladimir Klitschko, should Pulev pull off the upset it will be a massive shock, although Joshua has been stopped before and the blueprint is there, but Pulev hasn’t got the skills to successfully execute it.