Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will have his hands full in his next outing. The Brit will be facing the IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on December 12 in London.
The pair had to meet in June, but the coronavirus pandemic postponed the bout through December. Even though Joshua is the heavy favorite, the 39-year-old Bulgarian can surely do some damage.
The Bulgarian is by far the more experienced fighter and he hasn’t lost a fight since 2014 when he got dropped by Wladimir Klitschko.
The stakes are high for both fighters. Pulev is on the verge of becoming the first ever Bulgarian heavyweight champion of the world, while a win for ‘AJ’ means he’ll be facing his fellow countryman Tyson Fury in a unification bout in 2021.
“The situation with him and Wilder, now he’s up in the air, what he’s doing,” Joshua told Sky Sports News about the Tyson Fury situation.
“It’s just a bit of a circus going on. When it’s solidified, you’ll hear it from me. Until then, I’m not really into the whole circus act and trying to promote my name off his back and him doing the same. I’m keen to fight him for sure, he’s a competitor in my division. A good one as well. It will give me a chance to showcase what I’m about as well.”
But before that can happen, Joshua must overcome the challenge of Pulev.
“I had my little slip-up last year,” Joshua said. “We’ve brushed it off and we’ve got the belts back and now I’m going to go out there and get back on the gravy train and fight the likes of Fury 100 percent.
“But without getting past Kubrat Pulev, who is a serious competitor and challenger, there aren’t no talks of Tyson Fury and stuff like that. It’s a tough game I’m in, because as I said it’s the pot of gold at the end of rainbow, but before that I’ve got to navigate my way through and Pulev is a big old heavyweight standing in the way of that pot of gold.
“I’m still very hungry and disciplined, so I want to steamroll through him. That’s the fighter’s talk coming out. With that being said, it takes a lot of training in the gym and that is what training camp is about.”