Kubrat Pulev: “Anthony Joshua Is Afraid To Fight On Neutral Ground”

Pulev Calls Joshua a Coward

Kubrat Pulev (left), Anthony Joshua
Kubrat Pulev (left), Anthony Joshua

Pulev Calls Joshua a Coward

As the WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO world heavyweight champion, Anthony “AJ” Joshua (23-1, 21 KO’s) has enjoyed many perks. One of the main options that he has enjoyed is staging the majority of his fights in his own native UK. In fact, it was not until his last two back-to-back bouts with Andy “Destroyer” Ruiz Jr (33-2, 22 KO’s) that AJ had ever staged a professional fight outside of his own backyard.

Joshua’s insistence to only fight in his own neck of the woods didn’t go unnoticed in the boxing world. A number of his fellow combatants, such as Deontay Wilder and the newly crowned WBC world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, have repeatedly called him on the glaring issue. Now, you can add Joshua’s IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat “The Cobra” Pulev (28-1, 14 KO’s) to that list! In a recent interview with Sky Sports, The Cobra got more in-depth about his feelings about the unified champion.


It’s no secret that if given his choice of opponents, Joshua would rather face Tyson Fury. Having recently beaten Wilder and taking his champion status, Fury’s WBC title is the only belt preventing AJ from being the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. However, Fury first has to contend with a third bout with the Bronze Bomber and Pulev wants his shot at Joshua.

“He can’t face Fury because he has signed a contract to fight me. Besides, in this same contract there are clauses featuring some serious compensations [if the fight doesn’t happen]. In the meantime, Fury has a contract for a third fight with Deontay Wilder. Neither me, nor Wilder will give up on these fights.”

At this point in the game, neither Wilder nor Pulev have given any indication that they are willing to step aside for a undisputed bout to take place. Aside from making it very clear that he was unwilling to play ball and accept step-aside money, The Cobra has let it be known that he thinks Joshua is a true to heart coward. As evidence of this, Pulev makes reference to Joshua’s long history of hometown prizefights.


In Pulev’s mind, an authentic fighter does not concern themselves with where the match-up is staged. Yet, according to The Cobra, Joshua lacks this fundamental willingness to travel to prove his dominance in the division is the real thing. Even worse, Pulev went a bit further to say that AJ was not even willing to face him on neutral ground.

“I think it is obvious – because he’s afraid. I don’t see any other reason. Why should it be in London? Why the fight can’t take place in any other place? You answer this! We offered various destinations – from Istanbul to Las Vegas, New York or Saudi Arabia. And then I got the reply that Joshua would come up against me only in London.

Otherwise, there would be no fight at all. And of course, I agreed to this condition. I’m not concerned about the place. For example, I never asked for the fight to be in Sofia. From day one, I wanted it to take place at a neutral venue as this would be fair to both sides.

There’s no such thing as an ideal location for a true fighter. He can fight everywhere and he’s not worried about anything. Picking a certain destination is for cowards, for those who prefer to talk a lot rather than act.”


When questioned on why he believes that Joshua is the way that he is, The Cobra speculates that, unless you are born that way, confidence all comes down to how you raise a child from their earliest days. And in Pulev’s viewpoint, AJ was not born or injected with the correct mixture of confidence and self-belief during his upbringing. Having missed this crucial developmental stage, Pulev has always believed that a detrimental loss for Joshua was inevitable.

“Mentality is something you were born with, you have it inside you. Also, being mentally strong is a skill you have to work on from a very young age. It all begins with the family a kid grows up in and then you strengthen your mentality as an adult. Joshua’s mentality, meanwhile, is a whole lot different and it was just a matter of time for him to lose.”

By: Bakari Simpson

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About Bakari Simpson 1697 Articles
Bakari is a writer and contributor for 3kingsboxing.com. Visit cheetahhead.com to view more of his literary work.