Promoter Bob Arum has blasted Anthony Joshua’s “very, very suspect” chin and predicted his 38-year-old fighter Kubrat Pulev will knock out the unified champion.
WBA, IBF and WBO boss AJ is set to fight Pulev on June 20, though the COVID-19 pandemic could force the fight to be backdated further into the summer.
It then pushes a potential undisputed title decider between Joshua, 30, and Fury, 31, back even more with the Gypsy King also set to fight Deontay Wilder, 34, in July, having dethroned the American of the WBC crown in late February.
But Arum – who watched his former fighter Andy Ruiz Jr stun AJ in June before losing the rematch six months later – is adamant Pulev will upset the applecart and KO any chance of Joshua and Fury meeting in a Battle of Britain for all the marbles.
He told iFL TV: “He has no chin. I knew Andy Ruiz prior to his first fight with Joshua. Every one of Ruiz’s fights except the one previous to that [Alexander Dimitrenko] was promoted by us. So we are experts on Andy Ruiz. We know how good he is, what he lacks, we know he has fast hands, a pretty good chin, but he’s not a knockout guy.
“Trust me, look at his record. He fought a lot of ham & eggers and he couldn’t knock them out. The fact that he knocked out Joshua the way he did indicates to me that Joshua’s chin is very, very suspect. If you compare Ruiz with Pulev, Pulev is a much better fighter than Andy Ruiz. Therefore, what I’ve said is if Ruiz can knock Joshua out, then Pulev has an even better chance to knock him out.”
Despite heavyweight champs AJ and Fury pencilled in for unwanted interim fights, Brit promoter Eddie Hearn revealed he has been having secret chats with Arum ahead of time to negotiate a future unification clash.
But in a joint statement the Gypsy King’s managerial and promotional stables hit back as they insisted the WBC king is only focussed on his trilogy with Wilder.
Top Rank boss Arum added he is not willing to look past the two heavyweights standing in the way, Wilder and Pulev, before swapping contracts with Hearn and Joshua.
Arum said: “I have no doubt that Anthony Joshua and Eddie Hearn would look forward to making a fight against Tyson Fury. Now again, there are other fighters involved. You have Pulev – will that fight happen or not happen? That has to be worked out. You also have Deontay Wilder, who up until February 22nd, who was considered the most dynamic heavyweight champion of our time, if not all time.”
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