Nigerian-British world champion Anthony Joshua says he is confident of knocking out Kubrat Pulev in the 11th round when the two take each other on later this year.
The fight was yesterday confirmed for June 20 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Pulev the mandatory IBF challenger to take on Joshua. Pulev has only been defeated once in his professional career, losing to Wladimir Klitschko in 2014, but speaking to William Hill Joshua seemed excited by the prospect of taking on the Bulgarian.
“He’s been in the game for a while, he went to the top level and then he got defeated,” Joshua said. “So he knows his way around the ring. He’s had his chance at the top level and now he’s coming back again, so he’s probably going to try and get it right. I’ll be expecting a more polished, smarter Pulev, and he can bang a bit as well. He’s had a few knockouts on his record as well, he can bang and he can box so he’s a boxer-puncher.“It’s kind of like what my style is as well so it will be a good match up for sure. We’re going to box, people are going to see some skills, and they’re probably going to see a knockout as well because you’ve got two boxer-punchers.”
When pressed to give a prediction on the fight, Joshua simply said: “Round 11”.
The fight means that a much-anticipated unification between Joshua and Tyson Fury will not take place until the end of the year at the earliest, and Eddie Hearn said: “The great thing is that [Fury vs Wilder] is in July and we box in June. Now our intention, and conversations are ongoing, is to finalise the Fury vs Joshua fight for December of this year. There’s no reason not to get that contracted now, subject to both guys winning in the summer.”Photo Credit: Getty