WORLD heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua has promised to knock out his next challenger Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in the 11th round when they meet at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.
On December 7 last year, Joshua regained the World Boxing Association, World Boxing Organisation, International Boxing Organisation and International Boxing Federation titles after beating Mexican-American Andy Ruiz in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh. In a unanimous points decision, Joshua reclaimed the four belts he surprisingly lost to Ruiz in June 2019 when they met at Madison Square Gardens in New York.
Joshua is now due to face Pulev in a mandatory title defence before moving on to take on another commitment, possibly against Oleksandr Usyk, later in 2020. Tottenham’s recently refurbished stadium will host the fight against Pulev, the mandatory IBF challenger.
Pulev has only been defeated once in his professional career, losing to Vladimir Klitschko in 2014. However, Joshua, who has his eyes on an ultimate unification fight with World Boxing Council (WBC) champion Tyson Fury, is confident that he can knock out Pulev as he establishes himself as the top man in the division.
Joshua said: “He’s been in the game for a while, he went to the top level and then he got defeated. He knows his way around the ring, he’s had his chance at the top level and now he’s coming back again, so he’s probably going to try and get it right.
“I’ll be expecting a more polished, smarter Pulev and he can bang a bit as well. He’s had a few knockouts on his record as well, he can bang and he can box so he’s a boxer-puncher.
“It’s kind of like what my style is as well so it will be a good match up for sure. We’re going to box, people are going to see some skills and they’re probably going to see a knockout as well because you’ve got two boxer-punchers.”
Any reunification fight between Joshua and the WBC champion will have to wait until next year as Tyson Fury has a mandatory defence against former champion Detonay Wilder. When they met last week, Fury beat Wilder to seize his crown but the former champion has activated his rematch clause, meaning that fight will have to take place later this year.