Has Kubrat Pulev’s Team Found Anthony Joshua’s Weakness?
As of now, we know that sometime in November will be when Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev finally meet. What about the location? That appears to not be as clear as most would like it to be. Pulev and his team believe they know the reason why.
Ivaylo Gotzev, Pulev’s manager, has been adding fuel to the fire when it comes to the rivalry between the two. They were supposed to fight in 2017, but Pulev (28-1) had to back out due to an injury. The new bout was supposed to take place inside Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in June but was postponed due to the coronavirus. Hearn previously recommended Royal Albert Hall or Olympia in the UK as other venues for the event, which could hold over 1,000 people. Gotzev might have a reason why the UK has been the only recommendation.
“Being the warriors that we are, we went for alternate scenarios to stage the fight,” Gotzev stated to World Boxing News. “We tried to supply a legitimate place and site this fight could take off. We did that. Croatia came in strong with a big offer. An excellent offer as a matter of fact, for us to take it to Pula. But from day one there was always hesitancy.
“I don’t think they ever wanted to be anywhere outside of (Joshua’s) home sweet home. The UK and London. I do believe that the champion, who I have a lot of respect for, has struggled due to the fact that he did not look very good on the road.”
Gotzev did state that Croatia was the best option for the fight. He is also referring to the fact that Joshua (23-1) lost to Andy Ruiz Jr. inside Madson Square Garden in his United States debut. In the rematch in Saudi Arabia, Joshua beat Ruiz but did not easily take out the fighter who did not prepare for the fight.
Although Joshua has struggled at times at home, he has won all bouts inside The O2, Manchester Arena, Principality Stadium, and Wembley. Gotsev pointed out that a change in scenery is something that worries Joshua and Matchroom.
“Firstly, he loses the fight in New York and then he struggles in the comeback in Saudi Arabia,” Gotsev went on to say. “He’s got issues on the road and needs to be at home… AJ looked like a deer in headlights in Madison Square. He didn’t know what the hell happened to him”
As far as if the fight will have a crowd to watch it, Hearn is hoping that by August the promotion can fill in seats.