This Saturday night marks the return of one of the best boxers in the world, Anthony Joshua. Three of the four major heavyweight titles will be on the line as Joshua faces Kubrat Pulev. As one might expect, Joshua is the heavy favorite (Anthony Joshua -1000 vs. Kubrat Pulev +650). OddsUSA will tell you why.
One reason Joshua is favored is because of how well he rebounded in his rematch with Andy Ruiz. The bout went to a decision but Joshua dominated all night, redeeming himself before Ruiz even had one title defense.
Looking at the physical stats of both men, Joshua is eight years younger than Pulev, who has to be nearing the end of his road. Joshua also has both a two-inch height and reach advantage. Joshua also has experience training with Pulev’s opponents.
“I’ve known Kubrat Pulev for many years. I was in the training camp when his brother (Tervel) was sparring Warren Baister. I was in Wladimir Klitschko’s camp when he was preparing for Pulev. I understand some of the tactics that need to go into beating Kubrat Pulev. I’m prepared for it to go the full 12 rounds… I feel like I’m a 15-round fighter,” Joshua told The Ring magazine.
Additionally, Pulev has the tendency to draw fights out. He’s boxed 203 total rounds according to Box.live for an average fight length of seven rounds. He is “batting 500” so to speak when it comes to putting opponents away, having a KO percentage of 50. Meanwhile Joshua is at 91 percent and usually gets things done in just over four rounds.
Box.live described Joshua as follows:
“As a boxer, Joshua is the total package. Despite starting late, he has sharp technical skills, and he boasts superb athleticism. And, of course, the fans love a knockout puncher, and he has shown that he possesses that kind of brutal, fight-changing power.”
Other previews have mentioned not to expect fireworks because of how tactical Pulev is and while Joshua is a finisher he won’t run into anything.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum said more bluntly, “I believe Kubrat will be able to match Joshua with boxing ability and will have an opportunity to catch Joshua and knock him out. Pulev is very strong and has good pedigree, so Joshua won’t be able to run and do what he did to Ruiz in the rematch.”
Prediction: Anthony Joshua def. Kubrat Pulev by decision