Anthony Joshua insists that the mistakes he made in his past fights, he’s improved upon, and he no longer views them as weaknesses going into his title defense on Saturday night against Kubrat Pulev.
The main two weak points in Joshua’s game has consistently been his punch resistance and his stamina. He gets tired too easily, and he can’t take a hard punch without getting hurt.
The 39-year-old Pulev probably is too old and weak in terms of punching power to test Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) about his assertion that he’s improved all his weak spots in his game, but you never know.
Joshua has been hurt so many times in his career, it seems unbelievable his chin will be able to take Pulev’s best shots without him getting buzzed once or twice.
The real question is, can Joshua recover if the big 6’4 1/2″ Pulev hurts him on Saturday night in their fight at the Wembley Arena in London?
Joshua couldn’t come back after being dropped twice in the third round by an in shape Andy Ruiz Jr last year in June in New York.
“Sometimes when things are going well you keep working on your strengths,” said Joshua to Sky Sports. “What people call weaknesses, I call strengths that I haven’t identified yet.
“I saw the strengths I hadn’t identified – what [other people] call weaknesses. I enhanced them, improved them. I’ve worked a lot on honing my craft,” said Joshua.
The only way Joshua can show that he’s improved is by going out there on Saturday night and slugging it out with Pulev at 100% capacity.
If Joshua can A. fight at a fast pace without gassing, and B. take Pulev’s best shots without getting hurt, we can safely say he’s improved.
Unfortunately, Joshua is just talking, wishing that he could improve his weak areas, but in reality, he’ll be the same flawed heavyweight he’s always been.
That’s not to say that Joshua won’t beat Pulev. He probably will. Pulev is old, he’s not a big puncher, and he’s only fought one good heavyweight in his entire career in Wladimir Klitschko in 2014.
Kubrat was blown out in five rounds by Klitschko, and it wasn’t pretty. Pulev had no defense for Wladimir’s left hook, which he was able to repeatedly hit him with to put him on the deck over and over.
Joshua has the perfect opponent on Saturday for him to knock out with his left hook, and it’ll be surprising if Pulev can take that punch or even block it.
“This will be a tough fight, but I need to retain my belts. I have a warrior mindset,” said Joshua.
AJ isn’t much of a warrior, as we saw in his boring victory over Ruiz last December.
Joshua looked like the opposite. Joshua appeared frightened of Ruiz’s power, and he spent most of the fight clinching at every opportunity. That’s not a warrior; that’s a survivalist.