Bigger fight today where Joshua vs Pulev: Anthony Joshua warns Kubrat Pulev ‘there aren’t any chinks in my armour.Anthony Joshua: “What people call weaknesses, I call strengths that I haven’t identified yet”; AJ and his challenger both looked in prime condition at Wednesday’s workouts; Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev is on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Anthony Joshua sent a stern warning to Kubrat Pulev as they flexed muscles during their workouts on Wednesday
Anthony Joshua insisted that he has eradicated past mistakes and now has a “warrior mindset” as the clock ticks towards a fight with Kubrat Pulev.
World heavyweight champion Joshua puts his IBF, WBA and WBO titles on the line against Pulev on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
It comes a year after avenging his shock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr but Joshua told Sky Sports News that he has evolved since then, and Pulev will find out the hard way.
“Sometimes when things are going well you keep working on your strengths,” Joshua said.
“After my loss in New York?
“What people call weaknesses, I call strengths that I haven’t identified yet.
“I saw the strengths I hadn’t identified – what [other people] call weaknesses. I enhanced them, improved them.
“Now there aren’t any chinks in my armour.
“I’ve worked a lot on honing my craft.
“This will be a tough fight but I need to retain my belts. I have a warrior mindset.
“In my mind, nothing else is important apart from Pulev. That is my focus.”
A fight against WBC champion Tyson Fury for the undisputed championship looms in 2021 if Joshua can dispatch Pulev on Saturday.
Both Joshua and Pulev looked lean and fit at Wednesday evening’s workouts – the challenger shadow-boxed for several minutes but the champion went through a far more ominous routine.
Joshua spent upwards of 20 minutes wrapping his hands in the most professional manner despite it only being for a public workout – that is a trick he learned from Wladimir Klitschko, the long-standing former champion, and something he has recently added to his own preparation.
He then insisted cameras were switched off and everybody except his training team left the room before going through one of his final workouts before he trades punches with Pulev.
Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken said about Pulev: “He is slim, he has lost weight, his fitness levels look good so he might come on the front foot. But he is a boxer who puts pressure on behind the jab. He is a top class heavyweight.”
Pulev told Sky Sports: “Saturday is the most important day of my life. I trained since I was 12, I became a champion in Bulgaria when I was 14.
“This is my dream, this was the dream of my father.
“Knockout? I just need this win. I want to do it for my father, for my country, for Bulgarian sport. Not just for me.
Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev Boxing Odds, Props & Schedule: AJ Expected to Win by KO in Heavyweight Title Defense
Kubrat Pulev looks as lean and confident as he is relaxed and engaging inside the world heavyweight championship bubble which insulates him and Anthony Joshua until the title fight on Saturday night in Wembley. “I feel a little lighter and at my best like this,” the Bulgarian challenger said on Wednesday. “A boxer must have power and speed and right now I feel very dangerous.”Joshua is expected to retain his IBF, WBA and WBO titles but Pulev grinned and emitted a low growl when asked to predict the outcome. “It means we are going to win,” he said of the growl. “It will not be an easy fight but we will win it. He is a very good fighter, that I respect, but I will show I am the better boxer. Two good fighters means it is a dangerous fight, and I like that.”
Pulev is an obscure figure outside boxing but, in Bulgaria, he remains wildly popular. Almost two million people in his home country watched him lose his only previous world title bout, against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014, and Pulev stresses that becoming the first Bulgarian to win the world heavyweight championship would carry profound meaning. “For me this is much more important than becoming a champion for the money. This means everything if I achieve it. I don’t think it is my last chance but it is an important moment. The one time I lost [to Klitschko] I was too young, too green.