Joshua not overlooking Pulev
With his next fight only days away, WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world heavyweight champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua (21-1, 21 KO’s) is bristling with confidence. On December 12, he will face his IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat “Cobra” Pulev (28-1, 14 KO’s). Despite going into the bout as the favorite to win, AJ is not taking Pulev lightly.
It can be said that when Joshua initially fought Andy “Destroyer” Ruiz (33-2, 22 KO’s), he took that fight for granted. That huge miscalculation lead to his only professional loss. Having tasted the bitterness of defeat, Joshua is determined never to make that mistake again. Therefore, as he told Pep Talk UK, AJ is approaching his showdown with the Cobra quite seriously.
RESPECT THY ENEMY
Outside of merely respecting his upcoming opposition in general, Joshua has legitimate reverence for Pulev specifically. AJ has had him on his radar since 2017 when he was originally supposed to face the Bulgarian. However, before they could clash in the ring, Pulev pulled out of the fight citing a right shoulder injury.
“I was supposed to fight Pulev years ago. Remember when [Carlos] Takam replaced him, I was supposed to fight him then. But I rate Pulev as a good fighter and I have to respect him. Because if I don’t, then you know how boxing goes; like upsets happen isn’t it, if you don’t respect your fighter. So I respect him, he’s had one loss to [Wladimir] Klitschko, he know what he is doing.”
In the end however, regardless of how much respect he may hold for the Cobra, AJ is betting on himself to prevail.
“You know me! I’m not here for no reason. I’m the best in the world for a reason and I have been the best in the world since I started boxing. So, I’ll just go in there and do what I do anyway.”
THE LAST HURRAH?
As Joshua alluded to, it is never a good idea to overlook your adversary for any reason. In the case of Pulev, the Bulgarian packs a good punch and will have a bit of desperation on his side. Being that he is almost 40 years old, this could very well be his last chance to grab a world title.
With his back against the wall in this fashion, the Cobra could prove to be a very determined and focused opponent. Only time will tell if that turns out to be the case. Luckily for fight fans, we do not have very much longer to wait!
By: Bakari Simpson