Kubrat Pulev Will Not Repeat Andy Ruiz’s Mistakes Against Anthony Joshua, Per Manager
The path to undisputed has not been easy for Anthony Joshua. The WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight Champion had to take on Andy Ruiz Jr. twice and must now focus his attention on Kubrat Pulev. If he were to win that bout, a Tyson Fury fight is right around the corner. Pulev and his team, however, have other plans in mind.
Speaking with Sky Sports, Ivaylo Gotsev, Pulev’s manager, explained the game plan for a fight with Joshua. He compared the challenge of Pulev to that of Ruiz. However, if there was a rematch, he sees Pulev pulling through with a win.
“Yeah, we’ll give it to him, just like he did with Ruiz, but I can assure one thing – Kubrat is going to be ready for the rematch as well,” Gotsev stated.
“He’s not going to let himself go like Ruiz did, for whatever reasons. I mean that wasn’t serious. Kubrat is a serious contender, he’s a No 1 contender, the mandatory contender. He got there by blood, sweat and tears, and he’s legitimate.
“He is the biggest fight of AJ’s career, right now, coming up.
Inside Madison Square Garden last June, Joshua faced Ruiz after original opponent Jarrell Miller failed three drug tests. Ruiz wasn’t taken as seriously as he should have by those within the boxing world. In front of a rabid fanbase, Ruiz survived a round-three knockdown by Joshua and ended up knocking him down. Joshua was then knocked down two more times, and by the seventh, the referee called the fight off. It was a night to remember, and one Joshua reflected on right after.
The rematch in Saudi Arabia in December saw Ruiz balloon up to over 280 pounds. He did not prepare for the bout and was celebrating the spoils of his title win. Joshua came back focused and ended up walking circles around Ruiz, regaining his titles.
Joshua and Pulev were supposed to fight in June before the coronavirus pandemic took over the boxing world. The two are working on a date and location for the bout, with Croatia a possibility. Eddie Hearn wants the fight in the UK but sees the need for fans to watch Joshua compete.
Pulev (28-1) is on an eight-fight win streak, last facing Rydell Booker in November. The Top Rank-signed fighter beat Booker via unanimous decision. With 14 wins via KO, the 6’4 star is looking to tower over Joshua mentally and physically. Gotsev believes it will be easy to get it done against Joshua.
“They know this is a serious fight and quite honestly, Kubrat seems to think that AJ is very afraid of him and that’s why it’s taking so long. I happen to agree,” Gotsev went on to say.