Anthony Joshua looks to be in impressive shape ahead of his December showdown with Kubrat Pulev. With 23 wins to his name and one loss, ‘AJ’ will step into the ring for the 25th time on December 12 at London’s O2 Arena.
He currently holds the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight world titles, as well as the lesser-valued IBO belt, and he’ll be looking to keep hold of all of them going into 2021.
Going by his latest social media post as well, he’s looking in great shape which means he’ll be feeling confident about regaining his titles come December 12. The champ is looking very, very strong, with absolutely huge legs – even by his standards.
Ask any boxing coach and they’ll tell you that the generation of power in a punch starts in the legs. With that in mind, AJ looks to have some serious power to throw at his Bulgarian opponent next month.
With that said, size doesn’t always equate to punch power and good boxing, but Joshua has been working with high-quality sparring partners to ensure he’s as sharp as can be.
Of his 23 wins, Joshua has won 21 bouts inside the distance, with only Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz Jr having gone the distance with the Watford-born warrior.
Many pundits are already arguing that 39-year-old Pulev is too old and slow to trouble Joshua. An AJ win certainly seems likely, but Pulev did claim a reasonably high-profile scalp from a British boxer back in 2018, with his defeat of Hughie Fury (Tyson Fury’s cousin).
Since then, he’s had two fights against lesser opposition, stopping Bogdan Dinu and taking a wide points decision against Rydell Booker.
It seems likely that Pulev was essentially marking time against these two opponents, knowing full well that he was set for a highly lucrative title shot. That’s because Pulev has been listed as the IBF’s mandatory challenger on-and-off since 2016 – a status he regained after facing Fury.
Pulev is seen as a rank outsider, but his skill set is not to be underestimated. He has fantastic amateur pedigree – winning gold at the 2008 European Championships and bronze at the 2005 World Championships – and has beaten big names as a pro, including Dereck Chisora and Alexander Ustinov.
Pulev’s only loss came against former Joshua opponent and then world champion Wladimir Klitschko way back in 2014.
Physically. though, it seems highly unlikely that the Bulgarian will be able to keep pace with a taller, stronger Joshua, but we’ve seen the champ upset before.