Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev Preview, Odds & Prediction

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Anthony Joshua V Kubrat Pulev Preview

The unified heavyweight champion of the world is back as Anthony Joshua takes on Kubrat Pulev for the WBO, WBA, IBF & IBO World titles at the SSE Arena in London on December 12th.

As per usual, we'll be taking an in-depth look into where the fight can be won and lost for both fighters and giving our prediction for it.

Joshua v Pulev prediction: How Anthony Joshua Wins The Fight

An Olympic gold medalist at London 2012, and it's safe to say he's had an eventful professional career ever since then.

20 stoppage victories from his first 20 fights in the professional ranks, with just 65 rounds boxed from those first 20 bouts - he was averaging just 3.25 rounds a fight. Notable wins over Dillian Whyte, Charles Martin and Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Arena in that 20 fight KO streak, Joshua was now rightly being touted as potentially one of the best heavyweights to ever lace up a pair of gloves.

Joseph Parker then became the first man to take AJ 12 rounds, before he blitzed past the durable Alexander Povetkin. Then came quite comfortably the craziest and most unpredictable moment of his career so far and one of the most famous moments in boxing history occurred.

The Brit was all but set to fight Jarrell Miller before the American failed a drugs test, so the once-beaten Mexican Andy Ruiz stepped in at late notice and caused one of the biggest upsets in boxing history, by stopping AJ in the seventh round to become the first-ever Mexican heavyweight champion of the world.

This was seemingly the kick up the backside that Joshua probably needed and in the rematch, he made the amendments he needed to make and put in an almost punch perfect 36 minutes of boxing to claim a unanimous points victory over Ruiz.

That was over a year ago and now in his first fight since that victory, he takes on the vastly experienced Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev. So just how will AJ get the better of him?

Well, Joshua showed against Ruiz was that if needed, he can fight off the back foot and use his boxing brain instead of going in all guns blazing and taking his opposition out.

Pulev has only been beaten once in his 29 fights to date, however, when he was stopped by Wladimir Klitschko back in 2014 and that was a much younger fresher Pulev than what he is now.

Joshua can win this fight in a variety of different ways. If he puts it on him from the get-go, he's got more than enough power to get the elder man out of there in a round or two but doing that would leave himself open to another Ruiz moment

AJ needs to think methodically. Pulev stands with a triangle guard which makes straight shots key to breaking him down and taking his focus away from the hooks. The champ needs to get behind that two-inch reach advantage and make Pulev overcommit then counter him on his way in. If he does that and is patient in doing that, the Bulgarian will be lucky to see the second half of the fight.

You can get Joshua to win in rounds 1-6 right here at 6/4!

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How Kubrat Pulev Wins The Fight

A fairly decent amateur winning European titles at both heavyweight and super heavyweight, Pulev has amassed 28 victories from 29 fights as a professional with his only loss coming at the hands of Klitschko six years ago.

Despite being aged 39, this will only be the second time the Bulgarian has fought for a legitimate world title and really, on paper, you'd see this as his last opportunity to claim world honours, being as he is just six months from turning 40 on fight night.

Since that defeat to Klitschko, he's on an eight-fight win streak with big wins over Derek Chisora and Hughie Fury came in those eight bouts, and he'll be looking to take that streak to nine with victory over Joshua here.

So, how does Pulev upset the odds against Anthony Joshua?

Again, if this question was asked 18 months ago, the simple and easy answer would be to say by outboxing Joshua. However, AJ showed in the Ruiz rematch that he's got plenty of boxing skill in the locker, so it isn't going to be anywhere near as straight forward as that for Pulev.

The one thing that the older man does have over AJ is his feet. Pulev is noticeably a lot lighter on his feet than his British opponent and here he will need to make the most of that footwork to step into range then step back out of range. He does also have very fast hands and this was what was ultimately the big factor in AJ's defeat to Ruiz.

Whether he's got the feet and hand speed to get on the inside of AJ and unleash a combination and then manage to get back on the outside and out of range before Joshua can counter is in itself a completely different question though.

Pulev isn't the biggest of punchers, so it's likely he'll try to make this a proper boxing match and make Joshua set the pace and try to set traps for him to land shots when he's off-balance or transitioning.

You can get Pulev to win on points at 16/1 right here!

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Anthony Joshua V Kubrat Pulev Fight Prediction

For us, this is a fairly straight forward fight to predict with the obvious being our prediciton. In boxing, there are levels, and unfortunately for Pulev at the moment, Joshua is just levels above him.

Expect both fighters to start relatively slow and try to make either commit first, but when leather is traded between the two - which will eventually happen - we can't see anything else but a trademark Joshua knockout.

Even though Pulev is light on his feet, he is relatively easy to hit with a lack of lateral movement which plays into Joshua's hands perfectly. Both fighters are looking in immaculate shape for the fight, but with a unification bout with Tyson Fury looming in 2021 for AJ, he needs to put on a show here and we're backing him to do just that.

Joshua v Pulev prediction: Anthony Joshua to win in rounds 1-6

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