After a year away from the ring and a knee injury, Anthony Joshua is looking to be in the best shape possible come December. By then, the IBF, WBO, WBA, IBO Heavyweight Champion will hopefully be facing off against Kubrat Pulev. Is there anything that Joshua will be doing to specifically prepare for this fight?
Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn spoke to Sky Sports regarding the training of Joshua. He believes that sparring will be a big factor in the fight, just as it was during his second bout with Andy Ruiz Jr. Who could end up sparring with Joshua (23-1) in preparation for a man in Pulev (28-1) with 14 wins via knockouts?
“Sparring wise? You need a tall, stand-up fighter who is technically sound,” Hearn stated. “Looking around? The likes of Dominic Breazeale, as an example. A stand-up heavyweight.”
Back in June 2019, Joshua didn’t seem prepared for his first fight with Andy Ruiz Jr. He was knocked down several times and the referee ended up calling the fight off. In the second fight, Joshua relied on a strong sparring session. He ended up getting a dominant unanimous decision win. According to CompuBox, Joshua landed 107 shots, with 65 of them jabs, averaging 23 of them thrown per round.
Pulev (28-1) is on an eight-fight win streak following a loss to champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2014. He last fought in 2019, beating Rydell Booker via unanimous decision. A dangerous fighter, Joshua is looking to be the best fighter he can be against the Bulgarian.
“Pulev is very experienced, very good technically, punches a bit. You need to find a tall heavyweight that replicates that style,” Hearn went on to say. “Against Ruiz Jr. the second time, they got their sparring spot on. That is so important moving forwards.
“He won’t make that mistake again, of overlooking that element. His sparring for Pulev will be spot on.”
Hearn is hoping to host the event inside Royal Albert Hall, The O2, or Olympia, while Pulev’s team mentioned Croatia as an option. The reason for this is that fans may be able to attend events by that time.