Bob Arum is predicting a knockout win for his fighter Kubrat Pulev in their fight next week on December 12th on DAZN at the Wembley Arena in London, England.
Arum sees IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) running from the big Bulgarian from the world go and playing it safe as he did against Andy Ruiz Jr in their rematch.
Bob expects Pulev to chase Joshua down and batter him to pieces on the night. A loss for Joshua will take care of the need for Tyson Fury to continue with the mediation process with Deontay Wilder.
Fury would then face Wilder in early 2021, as Arum points out, and then the winner takes on IBF/WBA/WBO champion Pulev.
Bob says he has no problems with British heavyweight Daniel Dubois quitting on one knee in the 10th round against Joe Joyce last Saturday night in London.
Arum feels that Dubois made the logical move in quitting to save his injured left eye.
Arum: Pulev takes Joshua apart
“I really think Joshua does an Andy Ruiz rematch and runs around, and my guy [Pulev] will corner him and pummel him,” said Arum to IFL TV. “If Joshua fights Pulev, I like my guy’s chances. I think Joshua’s chin is suspect, and I think Pulev knocks him out.
“Watch that Joshua-Pulev fight,” Arum continued. “You’re going to be surprised at how Pulev takes him apart.”
That will be a massive shock if the 39-year-old Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) takes Joshua “apart,” as Arum predicts. Although Pulev has excellent size at 6’4 1/2′ 240+ lbs, he can’t punch, and he’s old and nearing 40.
If Pulev can score a knockout of Joshua, it would likely lead to a rematch. As the IBF mandatory, Pulev wouldn’t be required to give Joshua a rematch, but he would obviously do so because of the money he can make.
There would likely be less dough for Pulev if he chose to move forward and face Fury in a unification match rather than taking on AJ again.
What we’re likely going to see on December 12th is Joshua playing it safe with his new Wladimir Klitschko fighting style and winning ugly.
If there is a knockout, it’ll be Joshua that gets it because he’ll nail Pulev with a big left hook at some point, and he has no punch resistance to those types of shots.
Dubois had to save himself, says Arum
“I did, it was a very, very good fight, an entertaining fight,” said Arum about the Dubois vs. Joyce fight last Saturday.
“We bought that fight to show on ESPN+ and got a big audience. but it lived up to its billing. It was an exciting fight, a well-paced fight.
“I was very surprised. I didn’t think Joyce was as good as he showed. He has a tremendous jab and a great chin. He can compete with anybody.
“I was a little disappointed with Dubois. I thought he had no real game plan except to land his hard punches, but he could have done better, I thought.
“All credit to Joyce. He fought a great fight, and he probably has the best jab of any heavyweight, including the top guys.
“He had to save himself,” Arum said of Dubois taking a knee to quit in the tenth round against Joyce.
“Sure he quit, but it was an intelligent quit in the sense that the eye, the orbital bone was either fractured or not fractured, but he couldn’t see out of the eye.
“It must have hurt like mad, particularly when he got hit. So I dn’t blame him for taking the knee because there was no way he could continue.
“Why take more punishment, and maybe lose sight out of that eye. So I thought he did the right thing,” said Arum.
Bob brings up a good point about Daniel Dubois doing the right thing in taking a knee to get out of the fight in the tenth.
He had to do something because his trainer didn’t pull him out, and the referee chose not to stop the action from having him looked over by the ringside doctor.
It’s troubling that Dubois had to be the one to get out of the fight by taking a knee instead of his corner, making a move to throw in the towel, or let the referee know that he wasn’t coming out for the tenth.
Tyson vs. Jones = nostalgic fight
“It just shows that [Mike] Tyson during his era was all box office, people wanted to see him,” Arum said in reacting to Mike Tyson’s eight-round exhibition match against Roy Jones Jr.
“It doesn’t take away from boxing. It reminds people how great boxing was during the time when Roy and Mike were fighting, and that nostalgic trip enhances the fighters that fight today.
“It wasn’t a real fight, but it brought back so many great memories of when Tyson and Roy were at the top of their game,” said Arum.
The reports say that last Saturday’s Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr eight-round exhibition brought in over one million pay-per-view buys. It was a nostalgic type of bout, but it wasn’t entertaining.
The best part about the Tyson vs. Jones fight was the ring walk and listening to Snoop Doggy Dog talk.
There was nothing to the fight other than Jones clinching, running nonstop, and Tyson missing badly.
Obviously, neither guy was trying to hurt one another, and that made it almost unwatchable.
Boxing fans were charged $50 to watch the Tyson-Jones card, and many of them were disappointed, vowing not to waste their money again.
Tyson’s future exhibition matches will likely bring in less money to the point where it’ll be difficult to justify them.
If Tyson wants to bring in big money on a steady basis, he needs to come back for real and forget exhibition fights because it looks terribly fake.
Fury vs. Wilder III possible in February
“It’s not arbitration, it’s mediation,” said Arum about the Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder mediation.
“If Pulev beats Joshua, there’s no Joshua fight because Pulev has signed a rematch clause with Joshua.
I assume they [Matchroom Boxing] will elect if Joshua loses. So it may very well be that Wilder is the best available opponent [for Fury].
“ESPN and Fox have said they have a date in February would be ideal because he’d be up against any major events,” Arum said.
That would be something if former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) wins his mediation process and can fight Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) in a trilogy match in February.
Wilder would be in the position to upset the huge plans that Top Rank and Matchroom Boxing have with them wanting Joshua and Fury to fight twice in 2021.
I mean, they can still fight each other next year, but it wouldn’t be a unification match under that scenario.
If Wilder knocks out Fury, it would likely result in Joshua taking on ‘The Bronze Bomber’ for all the marbles next year.
Fury, 32, doesn’t want to fight Wilder, and he’s likely to continue to resist taking that fight even if he loses the mediation process.
It’s unclear whether Fury can squirm out of it by giving up his WBC title or not.
If so, that’s something that he might do to avoid getting knocked out by the American; predictably, Fury takes that path.
At this point in Fury’s career, he looks like he’s going for the cash and not long for the sport. It won’t be surprising if Fury retires at the end of 2021, especially if he loses to Joshua.
Fury suffering another bad knockout against Wilder is another thing that may lead to him retiring.
Wilder knocked Fury out badly in the 12th round of their first fight in 2018.
Although the referee shockingly didn’t stop the fight, it was clear that Fury was knocked out, and the fight should have been stopped.
I don’t think Fury wants another go-round against Wilder. Hence, he’s doing all he can to avoid the fight by saying that his rematch clause expired.