Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev Preview Dec. 12th
Anthony Joshua of Watford, England defends his IBF, IBO, WBO and WBA (Super) Heavyweight Titles against Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria this Saturday, December 12th. The 12-round bout takes place at Wembley Arena in London, England with 1,000 fans in attendance and can be seen live in the UK on Sky Box Office while fans in North America can catch the action on DAZN. Joshua regained his titles last December with a unanimous decision over Andy Ruiz in a rematch after Ruiz pulled off an upset by stopping him in the seventh round at Madison Square Garden six months earlier. Kubrat last saw action in November, 2019 when he beat Rydell Booker by 10-round unanimous decision.
**Watch live on DAZN this Saturday. Your first month is free.
Joshua vs Pulev Betting Odds
- Kubrat Pulev +600
- Anthony Joshua -1000
The 31-year-old Joshua is a former 2012 Olympic gold medalist who won the IBF Title in his 16th pro bout by stopping Charles Martin in the second round in 2016. He enters the fight with a record of 23-1 with 21 big Kos. He ended his first 14 bouts and 16 of his first 18 fights within the first three rounds and owns a current knockout ratio of 87.5 per cent. However, he’s gone 11, 10, 12, 7, 7, and 12 rounds in his last six outings against Wladimir Klitschko, Carlos Takam, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin and Ruiz.
Joshua has excellent power but his chin is a major question mark and his power hasn’t been quite as evident lately. Klitschko had him down and apparently out in the sixth round in April, 2017, but Joshua came back and stopped him to win the majority of his belts. Joshua turned pro in 2013 and has 103 rounds under his belt since. He’s a good-sized heavyweight by today’s standards as he stands 6-feet-6-inches tall with an 82-inch reach.
His best known opponents have been Ruiz, Klitschko, Takam, Parker, Povetkin, Martin, Dillian Whyte, Eric Molina, Dominic Breazeale, Kevin Johnson, Matt Skelton and Michael Sprott. Joshua is arguably a bit too muscle bound, but possesses pretty good boxing skills even if he is a bit robotic. He has decent mobility and upper body movement as well as a stiff jab. He usually tries to stay away from slugfests if possible while he attempts to box his opponents and use his size to advantage.
Joshua really needs to try to avoid slugfests if possible, such as he did in the rematch with Ruiz, since he has the habit of losing his legs when getting nailed on the chin. Of course, he also has to stand his ground and fight back when tested so this could be a bit of a dilemma for him. He’ll try using his jab and nailing Pulev with something solid whenever he sees an opening and will definitely go after him if he feels his opponent’s hurt.
The 39-year-old Pulev has won eight straight fights since being stopped by Wladimir Klitschko in the fifth round of their meeting in November, 2014, which has been his only career loss as a pro. Pulev’s a former 2008 Olympian who enjoyed a fine amateur career and now owns a pro record of 28-1 with 14 Kos. He turned pro in 2009 and has fought 203 rounds since. Pulev really isn’t a knockout artist by any means but has good power with a current knockout ratio of 48.3 per cent.
Pulev stands just over 6-feet-4-inches tall and has a reach of 80 inches which means he’s giving up 1.5-inches in height and two inches in reach to Joshua. Pulev stopped Alexander Dimitrenko in 11 rounds in May, 2012 for the European title and then stopped Alexander Ustinov in the same round four months later. He also beat the aging Tony Thompson by unanimous decision in 2013 and stopped Joey Abell the same year. Pulev also has wins over the likes of Hughie Fury, Samuel Peter, Michael Sprott, Dominick Guinn, Derric Rossy, Matt Skelton, Travis Walker and Zack Page.
The big Bulgarian has good boxing skills and understands the importance of distance and timing but doesn’t really have the one-punch power to stop skilled opponents and often has to go the distance. Since turning pro he’s also won the European Heavyweight Title twice as well as the IBF International Heavyweight Crown and the WBA Inter-Continental Heavyweight title. He may be underrated by many since he’s now 39 years and has only recently started to make a name for himself in America.
Joshua’s knockout loss to Ruiz wasn’t really a surprised since his chin has always been a bit of a question mark. This is basically why he employed a successful hit-and-run game plan against Ruiz in the rematch. Pulev has good boxing skills for a big guy and while he and Joshua aren’t really built for speed they can both bang when they have to. Pulev paid for going at it with Klitschko though by getting stopped in the fifth round. No outcome will be a surprise here since neither boxer has the greatest chin, but fans should expect Joshua to use the same tactic against Pulev as he did against Ruiz in the rematch. In fact, I expect Joshua to fight that way against everybody from now on. Nothing will surprise me, but I’m expecting Joshua to be able to outbox a 39-year-old Pulev without putting his chin in danger.
I’ll go with the younger, more mobile Joshua here.
Play: Joshua -1000 @ BetOnline.ag
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