Joshua vs Pulev on June 20 At Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev posted a message on his Facebook page today, writing how he will be challenging Anthony Joshua for his WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight titles on June 20th. The venue is The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the UK.
“The contract is already signed,” Pulev wrote. “I am happy to be able to show the world how strong I am.”
This fight has been in the works for some time, Pulev originally all set to fight Joshua some months back only to suffer an injury and have to pull out. Now, with Bob Arum’s backing – the Top Rank boss telling everyone how Pulev will knock Joshua out – Pulev finally gets his chance. This fight will of course be Pulev’s second shot at the world title, having been stopped in five rounds by Wladimir Klitschko back in November of 2014.
Pulev, 28-1(14) has won eight in a row since losing his unbeaten record to Klitschko, last fighting Rydell Booker, who the Bulgarian won a wide decision over in a pretty dull fight. But Pulev is indeed a physically strong man and he has a ton of experience, at both amateur and pro level. Not a big puncher, on paper at least (just those 14 stoppage wins), Pulev is not feather-fisted either
Possessing a good engine, good all-round skills and having a very reliable chin, Pulev figures to at the very least stick around against AJ for some time. Maybe Pulev will do a lot better than that, as Arum is adamant will be the case.
Personally I just don’t see a Pulev win. Slower than Joshua, older than Joshua and not as hard a puncher, Pulev looks like a late stoppage victim or a points loser here. But, hey, maybe you think differently. As Bob Arum so clearly does.
Will we see Joshua the boxer in this fight, as we saw in the crucial, must-win rematch with Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia? Or will we see Joshua get back to scoring exciting knockouts on June 20? This fight will be Joshua’s first fight at home since his September 2018 stoppage win over Alexander Povetkin. Another enormous sell-out crowd can be fully expected in the summer.