Anthony Joshua warned Kubrat Pulev he faces “the real one” in Saturday’s world heavyweight title bout in London because the pair virtually got here to blows on the weigh-in. Former Olympic champion Joshua defends his IBF, WBA and WBO belts at Wembley Arena towards the veteran Bulgarian in entrance of 1,000 followers as a result of coronavirus restrictions. The two males have been scheduled to struggle twice earlier than however each instances the bout was postponed — in 2017 Pulev was injured and Covid-19 put paid to a deliberate struggle in June.
But the 39-year-old, nicknamed “The Cobra”, boasts a formidable 28-1 file — his solely defeat got here in a world title struggle towards Wladimir Klitschko in 2014.
“Many years I’ve been in boxing and seen a lot fighters talk a lot of rubbish, then they get smacked up,” Joshua informed Sky Sports.
“I know what he’s like, I have studied him. He thinks he’s a warrior. I said ‘don’t let the guys you’ve fought gas you up, you’re in with a real one now’.
“When folks come within the ring with me they’re assured after which after a couple of rounds their soul will get destroyed. When I see that I can take them out.”
Pulev tipped the scales at 239 pounds (108 kilograms), six pounds lighter than before his last bout with Rydell Brooker in November 2019.
Joshua was then roundly booed by Pulev’s entourage before he weighed in at 240 pounds, three pounds more than when he gained revenge on Andy Ruiz Jr in December 2019 to reclaim his titles.
A bump of their fists appeared to be the end of a fiery weigh-in, only for Pulev to state: “Tomorrow I present you buddy. I such as you, respect you however tomorrow I present you as a result of I’m higher than you.”
Much of the focus ahead of Saturday has been on a potential “Battle of Britain” between Tyson Fury and Joshua in 2021.
An settlement in precept for Joshua and WBC champion Fury to lastly go head-to-head has been in place since earlier this 12 months.
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