Anthony Joshua puts his heavyweight world titles on the line against Kubrat Pulev at Cardiff’s Principal Stadium on October 28th, 2017.
Joshua will defend his WBA and IBF belts against the Pulev, who is the IBF’s mandatory challenger. Pulev has won 25 of 26 bouts with his only loss coming at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko in 2014. Since that defeat, Pulev has won five fights in a row including victories over Dereck Chisora, Samuel Peter and Kevin Johnson.
Next Big Thing
Pulev is a 6-4 fighter who utilizes his range very well. He is a smart boxer who doesn’t allow his opponents to box from the inside. He makes them fight his style and he’s good at finding holes in their defense. Although he isn’t known for his punching power, Pulev has recorded a knockout in six of his last 10 bouts.
Joshua, meanwhile, is the next big thing in the sport. He owns a perfect record of 19-0 with 19 KOs. Widely considered as the best heavyweight today, he possesses freak physical attributes. Joshua is large and masculine but he is fast, quick and agile. What makes him more dangerous is that he has natural punching power in both hands. There aren’t too many weaknesses in his game.
A.J. opened as a massive -5000 favorite at Bovada, while the Bulgarian brute came back as the +1400 underdog. Joshua should win this fight because he is the most physically gifted heavyweight in the business today. A.J.’s combination of size, speed, power and athleticism are rarely seen. We saw that on full display during his April 2017 victory over the great Wladimir Klitschko.
While many say that Joshua beat an over the hill old guy in Klitschko, it wasn’t easy. Wlad dominated the heavyweight division for over a decade and despite his advanced age, he didn’t show signs of slowing down. It was just that he faced a phenomenal athlete in Joshua and lost to him.
Too Much To Handle
Joshua’s defense isn’t very good. We saw Klitschko take advantage of that. Pulev fights a little like Klitschko. He uses his jab to set up his power right hand. Being an accomplished amateur boxer, Pulev is also a good boxer by heavyweight standards. As such, he can give Joshua some problems but in the end we think Joshua’s too much of a physical specimen for Pulev to handle.
Pulev will try to take advantage of Joshua’s defensive lapses but he too doesn’t have elite defense as well. Look for Joshua to unload his big bombs early in this fight. Not a question of the winner really. The odds are picking Joshua by a mile and we agree. As to how this fight will end, that’s more interesting. We’re picking Anthony Joshua to win by knockout in the first half of the fight.