Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight titles will be on the line on 12 December when he takes on the Bulgarian challenger Kubrat Pulev at the O2 Arena in London. It will be one of the illustrious boxing nights of the year after a long hiatus due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with the exciting main event, many exhilarating battles are brewing on the undercard. The authorities haven’t yet clarified whether fans will be allowed into the arena or not. Nevertheless, the majority of the fans will have to witness this epic night of battles from their homes.
The current world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, had an undefeated winning streak before he was knocked out by Andy Ruiz on June, 2019. AJ is a knockout specialist who knocked out 21 of his 24 opponents. Although AJ regained his crown after defeating Ruiz in a rematch at the end of 2019, this defeat made the boxing world realize that the king can be stripped of his crown. The end of AJ’s high-flying streak makes the fight against Pulev more exciting. Before his first defeat, AJ would have been considered the clear favorite. Now the fight is more evenly poised where both of them have a shot at victory. Pulev has claimed that he knows the weaknesses of Joshua and intends to expose them.
“Yes, he has skills, but he hasn’t shown the mental strength. This is something from within, in the blood of a man, and he does not have it.
“I can tell the fans that I will expose AJ again and prove they have been idolizing the wrong guy. I will expose him to the world for a second time.” Said Pulev.
What Pulev Claims to be Joshua’s weakness
Pulev claimed that after observing Joshua carefully, albeit being a good specimen, Joshua lacks the mental fortitude to remain at the very top level for long. Pulev boldly asserts that Joshua’s weakness was first exposed against Andy Ruiz, when Joshua was knocked out. Pulev intends to “expose” Joshua to the world again, and in his words, Joshua is the wrong guy to be idolized by so many fans around the world. Klitschko was the only boxer to defeat Kubrat Pulev back in 2014. Joshua, on the other hand, defeated Klitschko. Pulev thinks that his defeat was due to a wrongly devised strategy and claims that he has worked on it.
Pulev is a strong contender for the heavyweight title. He has been around the ring for a long time, but has yet to put his hands on the belt. Pulev is thinking of the clash against Anthony Joshua as a chess game, where the one with the strongest determination and mental toughness will prevail. Pulev considers the game as much a mental game as a physical one. Anthony is known for bullying his opponents, dancing around them, and getting a swift knockout victory. Pulev’s style is more traditional, he tries to win on points, rather than knocking his opponents out. Although, Pulev claims that he can bring the champion down with a knockout. Anthony Joshua is the knockout specialist, who has knocked 21 of his opponents out. The average win period for AJ is an unbelievable 4.2. As AJ prefers to knock his opponent out, which is a frightening statistic for his opponents. Pulev thinks he can make AJ taste some of his own medicine and knock him out. Pulev has a good track record against British boxers, as his biggest wins came against Dereck Chisora and Hughie Fury.
Is it Pulev’s Time to Finally Claim the Belt?
The world is divided regarding who is likely to prevail in this heavyweight clash. Pulev certainly thinks that he can beat Joshua by capitalizing on the mental side of the game, which he thinks AJ lacks. The odds put AJ higher, and bookmakers are offering greater odds for Pulev. This implies that the bookmakers think that AJ has a higher probability to come out of this fight triumphant. AJ has learned from his knockout at the hands of Andy Ruiz last year. During his re-match against Ruiz, which he won, AJ showed a more traditional style. AJ seemed to have adapted his style as he was more composed and defensive than before. Pulev claims that he can capitalize on the weaknesses of AJ. A portion of fans and boxing pundits also believe that Pulev has what it takes to knock AJ out. Is it Kubrat Pulev’s time to finally claim the world heavyweight champion’s belt, or does it still belong to Anthony Joshua? The world is eagerly waiting for the answers. Whether Pulev’s statements are just comments to unnerve AJ, or if he has indeed found some secret scheme to bring AJ down in the ring, will be unveiled on 12 December, when they go head-to-head in London.