Boxing: Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev preview

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March 19th, 2020

The second reign of Anthony Joshua is at hand, and first up to challenge the British blockbuster is long-time contender Kubrat Pulev. Can Joshua end Pulev’s five-year unbeaten streak with a vengeance? Or is he primed for another major upset? BetAmerica has you covered for the big fight, which is scheduled for June 20.

Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev

Anthony Joshua
Kubrat Pulev

Joshua played it safe against Ruiz

Joshua deserves plenty of criticism for playing it safe and not beating the brakes off Andy Ruiz, after Ruiz came in the ring at almost 300 pounds for their rematch. Addressing that criticism should be central to his game against Pulev.

Pulev isn't a big puncher or crafty enough to lead Joshua into any traps, and his five-year unbeaten streak has done little to establish him as a championship-level contender.

When at his best, Joshua is an explosive puncher who works his best behind a speedy jab. He can follow with either a booming right hand or a vicious uppercut.

Ruiz was able to bypass Joshua with activity in their first fight, but Pulev is a fighter in the traditional European style. He is methodical and predictable. Swarming Joshua is something the 38-year-old Pulev just doesn’t have in him.

Pulev is in for an epic beatdown

Unless Joshua overexerts himself, in an attempt to score an early stoppage, or Pulev hits him with an uncharacteristically hard shot, Pulev is going to be on the wrong side of some serious leather. While his chin can endure a few hard shots, Pulev is nowhere near fast enough to time a counter or close the gap.

After five rounds it will be apparent that Pulev is outclassed and Joshua will begin to land punches regularly. Pulev will retract and protect himself, with the hope he can make it to the later rounds, which Joshua can allow if he wants to play it safe. But if he doesn't want to turn in another dud, Joshua will rediscover his killer instinct and won't let Pulev off the hook.

Once Joshua has slowed Pulev down to a crawl, there won’t be much stopping Joshua from unleashing a volley of punches that will draw the fight to a close. Expect Joshua to dominate this fight from the first round. He will batter Pulev in each round, en route to a ninth-round stoppage.

Boxing free pick: Joshua

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