Anthony Joshua Declares War on Kubrat Pulev Ahead of their World Heavyweight Title Clash

 Anthony Joshua Declares War on Kubrat Pulev Ahead of their World Heavyweight Title Clash

By Dayo Badmus

After 12 months since he defeated Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia to claim back the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts.

A crowd of 1,000 will be in attendance following approval by local authorities and after London was placed in tier two of the new system when lockdown restrictions were relaxed by the government last week.

Joshua entered a bio-secure bubble yesterday and told Sky Sports: “My body is just a vessel that carries my brain, so I have trained my brain more than I have trained my body.

“I am ready for war. I am ready for a fight and looking forward to it.”

While the build-up to Saturday’s showpiece event will be different compared to usual with both fighters in the same bubble and able to mix, Joshua stated he would focus on making everything as normal as possible. Even when the ring bell sounds at the SSE Arena there will be a big contrast to the surroundings compared to in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua beat Ruiz Jr in a rematch last December at a 15,000-seater purpose-built arena and despite that number being small compared to some of the crowds he has fought in front of, the attendance will be even fewer on Saturday.

He insisted: “It is nice, it is nice for the fans as well because it will be intimate.

“It will be a special occasion to witness a world heavyweight champion fight amongst 1,000 people.

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“Normally there would be tens of thousands of people in an arena, but there are a lucky 1,000 people in there, so hopefully they get to enjoy it.”

Pulev has told Joshua not to worry about any potential bout with Tyson Fury in 2021 ahead of their fight.

While the Bulgarian is Joshua’s next opponent, talk continues to centre around the agreement in principle the Olympic Gold medallist has in place to fight fellow Briton Fury next year.

But Pulev told Matchroom Boxing: “I feel good, healthy and happy. I feel strong and with a lot of energy and much power. I think after this fight I am going to fight with Tyson Fury. It will be good.”

The 39-year-old conceded a ‘Battle of Britain’ between the Gypsy King and Joshua would be a good fight, but believes he is much-changed from the last time he lost out with world titles on the line.

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