πŸ“Ί WATCH HERE

Everything you need to know ahead of Anthony Joshua’s return

Anthony Joshua takes on Kubrat Pulev on his return to the ring in London on Sunday (AEDT), with one eye on a potential all-British heavyweight unification bout against Tyson Fury.

Former Olympic champion Joshua defends his IBF, WBA and WBO belts at Wembley Arena against the veteran Bulgarian in front of 1,000 fans, limited in number by coronavirus restrictions.

The two men have been scheduled to fight twice before but both times the bout was postponed — in 2017 Pulev was injured and COVID-19 put paid to a planned fight in June.

Joshua, 31, is odds-on favourite to beat his 39-year-old opponent, who is the mandatory challenger for his IBF title. But the Bulgarian, nicknamed “The Cobra”, boasts an impressive 28-1 record — his only defeat came in a world title fight against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014.

Joshua will be desperate to avoid another shock in the mould of his defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden in June 2019, which he avenged in Saudi Arabia last December.

The Briton said he was ready go all 12 rounds if necessary to ensure he took his record to 24-1.

“Just because I took a loss to Ruiz, that is not enough to change me because I have character,” he said. “I will definitely get hit and he will definitely get hit and it will be about the last man standing.

“I am prepared for it to go to the final bell, I feel I am a 15-round fighter and if it needs to go 12, I am ready.”

Anthony Joshua dealt with Andy Ruiz Jr. on the second attempt.
Anthony Joshua dealt with Andy Ruiz Jr. on the second attempt.Source: Getty Images

Pulev said he could not wait to get into the ring with his opponent after previous failed attempts.

“I’m ready for this fight,” he said. “We spend a long time waiting because 2017 I had a problem and that is why I tell my trainer we must go for the win.”

Talk of a potential “Battle of Britain” has been a background theme in the build-up to Saturday’s bout.

An agreement in principle for Joshua and WBC champion Fury to finally go head-to-head has been in place since earlier this year.

This week, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said he was “as close to 100 per cent” as he could be that the much-anticipated bout would happen in 2021 and did not want Fury to have a warm-up fight beforehand.

START TIME IN AUSTRALIA AND HOW TO WATCH

Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev is expected to get underway at approximately 9am (AEDT) on Sunday, December 13.

You can stream the fight on DAZN, or follow the bout in the foxsports.com.au live blog.

TALE OF THE TAPE

Anthony Joshua

Age: 31

Nationality: United Kingdom

Wins: 23 (21 KOs)

Losses: 1

Draws: 0

Height: 198cm

Reach: 208cm

Kubrat Pulev

Age: 39

Nationality: Bulgaria

Wins: 28 (14 KOs)

Losses: 1

Draws: 0

Height: 194cm

Reach: 202cm

UNDERCARD

Lawrence Okolie v Nikodem Jezewski — vacant WBO International cruiserweight title

Hughie Fury v Mariusz Wach — heavyweight

Martin Bakole v Sergey Kuzmin — WBC international heavyweight title

Qais Ashfaq v Ashley Lane — super-bantamweight

Florian Marku v Alex Fearon — welterweight

Macaulay McGowan v Kieron Conway — super-welterweight






Previous Next