Robert Brizel Preview: Kubrat Pulev Can Pull A Big KO Upset Saturday If Anthony Joshua Not Prepared
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
London, UK (December 11th, 2020)– Kubrat ‘Cobra’ Pulev could pull off the major heavyweight upset of 2020 if he catches Veteran Anthony Joshua was unprepared for their titular showdown at Wembley Arena in London, United Kingdom, Saturday night, December 12, 2020, broadcast live on Sky Sports Box Office, the main event of a seven bouts card. At nearly 6’5″ and nearly 250 pounds, Pulev’s frame is dangerous enough to give Joshua major trouble in a prolonged 12 round battle. The stakes are high, for Joshua is gunning for Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, and Dillian Whyte (if Whyte beats Alexander Povetkin in their January 2021 rematch).
Pulev, 28-1 with 14 knockouts, Sofia, Bulgaria, a winner of eight straight comeback bouts, at age 39 is 13 months inactive, since winning a 10 rounds decision over Rydell Booker. Joshua, 12 months inactive, the World Boxing Association Super, International Boxing Federation, International Boxing Organization, and World Boxing Organization World Heavyweight champion, 23-1 with 21 knockouts, Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, will be fighting on home turf at Wembley Arena.
However, no boxing fans will be present, and if Whyte’s recent knockout loss to Alexander Povetkin at Matchwood Fight Camp in Brentwood is an indicator, and Joshua’s limited performance against Andy Ruiz Jr. when he got stopped in the seventh round in June 2019 is an indicator, the home ring advantage with no fans present, and an opponent of unknown ability at this level, the formula could spell disaster and doom for Joshua.
At 6’6″, 237 to 254 pounds, the odds favor Joshua by power with 82 inches reach. Pulev, with a 79 ½ inches reach, must get inside, and jab to the body, and use superior footwork to keep Joshua from cutting off the ring and attacking on the inside. Ruiz proved if Joshua is taken to the inside by a superior power hitter, he can be knocked down numerous times and thoroughly outboxed. Pulev must get inside as Ruiz did, which is what he could not do against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014 at O2 World Arena. Pulev must strike, hard and fast, and do it early, within the first six or seven rounds. A prolonged battle, if it is a technical affair, favors Joshua on cuts or by knockout. If Pulev is in condition, and Joshua is not, or if Pulev has a game plan similar to Andy Ruiz AND Joshua slugs it out without moving, the boxing world could see a startling upset. More than likely, rusty Joshua will box extremely cautiously and outbox Pulev, and he might not look that good doing it, due to inactivity.
On the undercard: British heavyweight Hughie Fury is favored by 10 round decision over Poland’s Mariusz Wach; Russian heavyweight Sergey Kuzmin is favored by 10 round decision over Scotland’s Martin Bakole for the vacant World Boxing Council International Heavyweight title; top 10 British 14-0 cruiserweight Lawrence ‘The Sauce’ Okolie is favored over 19-0-1 Polish cruiserweight champion Nkodem Jezewski by 12 round decision for the vacant World Boxing Organization International Cruiserweight title; Kieran Conway is favored by 10 round decision over Macaulay McGowan in a battle of British super welterweights; Qais Ashfaq is favored by 8 round decision over Ashley Lane in a battle of British super bantamweights; British Albanian southpaw Florian Marku is favored by 8 round decision over Jamie Stewart in a battle of unbeaten British welterweight prospects.
Wembley Weigh-In Madness: Joshua Says He Will Crack Pulev, Eddie Hearn in Middle
World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua said he wanted to clap challenger Kubrat Pulev in the jaw, pointing a finger at him during their tense weigh-in on Friday, December 11, 2020. “You’re nothing. I’m better than you!” ranted Pulev.
Anthony Joshua, age 31, 240 ¾ pounds / 109 kilograms
Second lightest weight for Joshua in six year, heavier than last bout
Kubrat Pulev, age 39, 239 ½ pounds / 108 ¾ kilograms
Lightest weight for Pulev in eleven years
This titular bout was originally scheduled in 2017. Pulev pulled out due to injury.
1000 fans will be in official limited attendance sat Wembley Arena on December 12, 2020
First botu for Joshua at home since Alexander Povetkin bout in 2018
Anthony Joshua, the WBA, WBO, IBF, and IBO world heavyweight champion, will fight WBC champion Tyson Fury in a two fight U.K. deal in 2021, if Joshua defeats Pulev
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