Anthony Joshua defends his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO world heavyweight titles when he fights Kubrat Pulev at The O2 Arena on Sunday, December 13 at 9am AEDT.
Read on to see our Joshua vs Pulev tips, predictions and preview.
Anthony Joshua Last 5 Fights ?
|7 Dec 2019||Win||Andy Ruiz Jr||UD|
|1 Jun 2019||Loss||Andy Ruiz Jr||TKO|
|22 Sep 2018||Win||Alexander Povetkin||TKO|
|31 Mar 2018||Win||Joseph Parker||UD|
|28 Oct 2017||Win||Carlos Takam||TKO|
Kubrat Pulev Last 5 Fights ?
|9 Nov 2019||Win||Rydell Booker||UD|
|23 Mar 2019||Win||Bogdan Dinu||KO|
|27 Oct 2018||Win||Hughie Fury||UD|
|28 Apr 2017||Win||Kevin Johnson||UD|
|3 Dec 2016||Win||Samuel Peter||RTD|
Road to Joshua vs Pulev
It was a rollercoaster of a year for Anthony Joshua in 2019 and one that the world heavyweight champion is not likely to forget. The former 2012 London Olympics Gold Medallist began the year with a perfect 22-0 record where he had won via knockout 21 times, collecting four world title belts along the way. He hadn’t fought in the United States and wanted the American public to be impressed before setting up a unification fight with then WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
Joshua would make his US debut at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City. Originally slated to fight Jarrell Miller, the fight would not go ahead with “Big Baby” failing a drug test. Promoter Eddie Hearn had to find a short-notice replacement and that man would be Andy Ruiz Jr who would go down in the history books.
Ruiz Jr shocked the boxing world by overcoming a knockdown and dropping Joshua four times as the referee awarded the challenger with a seventh-round TKO. Ruiz Jr would become the first ever Mexican heavyweight champion in the process. Some people after the fight started to question whether the bout had been fixed. Joshua didn’t offer up an excuse for the loss and gave credit to Ruiz Jr.
Six months later, Ruiz Jr-Joshua 2 would take place in Saudi Arabia and Joshua would win back his titles with a dominant unanimous decision victory after 12 rounds. Joshua used his reach advantage and superior technique to pick Ruiz Jr apart.
Kubrat Pulev has extended his winning streak to eight as his career record sits at 28-1. Returning from injury, Pulev won via unanimous decision against Hughie Fury over 12 rounds. He then knocked out Bogdan Dinu in the seventh round before winning on the judges’ scorecards against Rydell Booker in November 2019.
Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev
Since the booking of this fight, there has been chatter that Pulev is a dangerous match-up for Joshua. Reference to Joshua being dropped by Wladimir Klitschko and Ruiz Jr four times, but we aren’t buying that considering Pulev has won only half of his fights via knockout. Three of his last four fights have come via decision which doesn’t bode well for the talk of Pulev knocking out the champion either. Add in the fact that Pulev couldn’t put away Kevin Johnson who Joshua destroyed inside two rounds back in 2015.
Simply put, this fight is Joshua’s to lose and we don’t expect him to take Pulev lightly. Joshua suffering his first career defeat would have taught him many lessons and his rematch victory over Ruiz Jr showed that.
Bookmakers have Joshua as a short-priced favourite which is no surprise. There is no point backing him at such a short quote, so looking at the Round Betting markets is the place to go. Pulev won’t have devastating knockout power but Joshua will still need to be wary and can spend a few rounds feeling out his opponent. Fighting at home will give Joshua a big boost and he should put the pressure on in the second half of the fight.
Joshua to pick up the win in Rounds 7-12 and also 7-8 looks a good play. Three of his last nine wins have come in the seventh round, so if you are inclined to pick a single round for the fight to end, then it could be the seventh as he looks to collide with Tyson Fury in 2021.