Written By Eric Gomes: British heavyweight world titleholder Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) will face his #1 mandatory Kubrat Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) Oct. 28th at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. This will mark Joshua’s 4th title defense of his IBF belt. Last April Joshua added the WBA Super World Heavyweight Title and IBO titles to his collection when he stopped HOF Wladimir Klitschko in a classic heavyweight scrap.
The bout not yet confirmed by Joshua’s Promoter Eddie Hearn/Matchroom Boxing. However, it was common knowledge that Pulev was owed this opportunity. Pulev did however agree to step aside in order for Joshua to rematch Wladimir Klitschko in October, with the promise of facing the winner next. In a turn of events, the 41-year-old Wladimir Klitschko suddenly announced his retirement amidst rumors that he was going to face Joshua a second time, in a Las Vegas rematch.
In addition the 36-year-old Kubrat Pulev posted the following on his Facebook page:
“Anthony Joshua is a great competitor
There won’t be much hugs we’ll just box, strong Bulgaria
Anthony Joshua is a great and dangerous rival. But his style fits perfectly on mine.
Boxing styles dictate the meeting between them. In this battle, there won’t be much hugs, there will be strong boxing. strong Pulev – the winner of the WBA belt and the official contender for the world title.
My preparations are very intense for the short time I have. I’ll be completely ready when I get in the ring. So he doesn’t stand a chance against me “, he completes his own boxing pride.”
Joshua impressed many with his tenacity and persistence in his last fight; which was certainly a step up in class. Joshua was in a true fight, forced to bite down whilst facing adversity, against a very game “obsessed” vet in Wladimir Klitschko. The middle rounds Joshua appeared very depleted trying to get his second wind as Klitschko dictated the pace. In the end, Joshua was dropped once by Dr. Steelhammer Klitschko. Joshua however, dropped Klitschko a total of three times en route to an 11th round TKO stoppage.
Kubrat Pulev and Anthony Joshua have a mutual opponent, with both men having faced the future Hall of Famer Wladimir Klitschko. Kubrat Pulev lost to Klitschko in 2014 via 5th Round knockout. Since that time, Pulev has worked himself back up the Heavyweight rankings. Pulev has not lost since the Klitschko fight and is on a 5-win streak facing names like former champion “The Nigerian Nightmare” Samuel Peter and Dereck Chisora.
In the absence of Klitschko this is another solid test for Anthony Joshua in his career. Although Klitschko has already beaten Pulev and Joshua beat Klitschko, triangle theories rarely work in boxing. Pulev is the mandatory who has patiently had to wait for his shot, so the fight makes sense. Besides, Deontay Wilder is rumored to face Luis “King Kong” Ortiz this November so the two will likely be tied up. Joseph Parker is facing Tyson Fury cousin Hughie Fury in a rescheduled September 23rd bout. All these fights prove one thing; the Heavyweight division is back, ALIVE AND WELL. Hopefully, we can see the winners of these bouts attempt a unification in 2018.
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