Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev
WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight
DAte: Saturday, Dec.12
Start Time: 10.30 pm ET
Location: Wembley Arena in London
Anthony Joshua returns to the ring to defend his WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO heavyweight titles against Kubrat Pulev in a homecoming bout at the SSE Wembley Arena in London, England this Saturday, December 12.
This will be Joshua’s first fight in the UK for over two years, and the first boxing match he’s had since a unanimous decision win over Andy Ruiz Jr. a little over a year ago. In 24 professional fights, he’s only lost once.
Pulev has also only lost once in 29 pro fights – a loss that came at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko, who won via KO in 2014.
The event will take place at the SSE Arena Wembley in front of a live crowd of 1,000 fans, attending in line with London tier two guidelines and strict social distancing safety measures. It’s also being broadcast live, for those who can’t be there in person.
Joshua vs Pulev FULL card
Lawrence Okolie is now facing Nikodem Jezewski after original opponent Krzysztof Glowacki tested positive for coronavirus.
Okolie vs Glowacki was set to be for the vacant WBO world cruiserweight title, but the Jezewski bout won’t be as the unbeaten Pole is not ranked by the WBO.
Elsewhere, Ramla Ali has tested positive for coronavirus and will no longer feature on the undercard.
- Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev (WBA, IBF, WBO heavyweight title)
- Lawrence Okolie vs Nikodem Jezewski (international cruiserweight title)
- Hughie Fury vs Mariusz Wach (heavyweight)
- Martin Bakole vs Sergey Kuzmin (heavyweight)
- Macaulay McGowan vs Kieron Conway (light-middleweight)
- Florian Marku vs Jamie Stewart (welterweight)
- Qais Ashfaq vs Ashley Lane (super-bantamweight)
Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev Prediction
Although Pulev has scored decision wins by outboxing the likes of Tony Thompson, Dereck Chisora and Hughie Fury throughout his career, his resume is solid but far from overwhelmingly spectacular. Because of that, his performance in the Klitschko loss could be a good indicator as to what this fight looks like.
Pulev might be six years older than the night he attempted to jump Klitschko off the opening bell and constantly look to provide pressure, but it’s a similar plan of attack that might be his best option given Joshua’s vulnerable chin and the fact that AJ will be the taller and longer fighter with advantages in speed and technique.
The bad news in this case for Pulev is that the more he presses Joshua in hopes of a knockout, the more he creates a scenario in which a similar knockout defeat feels inevitable. A big reason for that is how Joshua has proven to be an economical and dangerous finisher with both hands when he has has his opponent hurt.
Should Joshua prove to be gun shy or cautious, Pulev is big and powerful enough to be a problem and, make no mistake, is fully equipped to pull off an upset. But that remains a big if.
Yes, Joshua played it safe in the Ruiz rematch but a lot of that had to do with his opponent’s deceptively quick hands and underrated technique. AJ is simply better than Pulev in just about every category and as long as he fights confidently enough to get his opponent out of there once Pulev steps on the gas pedal, the reality is he likely will.