Anthony Joshua is finally getting inside the ring, and his rival will be Kubrat Pulev, the IBF mandatory challenger. The two were supposed to meet earlier this year, but the COVID-19 situation ruined all of their plans. Many forget that these two had a booked fight in 2017 as well, but Pulev withdrew due to a shoulder injury. It was supposed to be an indoor boxing match with the highest number of spectators, more than 70,000. Unfortunately, this second fight won’t see any fans present due to the already mentioned virus.
Anthony Joshua (-600) is the absolute favorite. A four-belt champion (WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO) comes into this match with high spirit wanting to show his dominance and rebuff all the voices who are still doubting his capabilities following the loss against Andy Ruiz Jr.
AJ reclaimed his belt in a rematch, following a unanimous decision. He was smashing and bashing the Mexican in that one, looking like a completely different fighter compared to the fight at the Madison Square Garden, back in June 2019. Ruiz didn’t stand a chance as he constantly absorbed massive hits from the other side, and it was a big surprise that he managed to see the end of the fight at all.
It is interesting that Joshua started his rise with the IBF title, beating Charles Martin some four and a half years ago at the O2 Arena in London. It doesn’t have to mean anything, but the Brit will undoubtedly try to make a statement here, and defend his first belt with style.
Pulev (+700) waited for this match for so long. This will be the crown of his career, and having in mind that the Bulgarian has 39 years, arguably the last chance for making his name recognizable in boxing history.
The Bulgarian Kobra, as the fans call him, never received the media attention he deserves. He fought 29 times so far, losing just once, against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014. It was the title fight for the IBF and the Ring belt. However, Pulev recovered following that defeat, recording a few big wins.
He defeated Derek Chisora, Samuel Peter, Hughie Fury, Bogdan Dinu, guys who are pretty solid when looking at their overall record. Kobra’s style of fight is not attractive, and he has a 50% KO rate, meaning that he likes to have his contests done slowly and with lots of tactics involved.
AJ is the favorite here, and we aren’t going to question that at all. We are more than sure that both of the fighters did their homework for this match superbly, as they had enough time to study the opponent and create a strong gameplan.
Pulev has solid cardio, while on the other side, AJ won’t rush into anything. We can’t expect some fireworks from this event, not only because both fighters don’t have such a mentality, but due to their long absence from the ring. The odds of seeing seven or more rounds are set at -125. Of course, we would go with Joshua here, but the odds are way too low on his victory.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.