Promoter Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua is looking “sensational” in training camp and expects him to beat Kubrat Puelv in emphatic fashion on December 12.
Joshua makes a first defence of his second reign as unified heavyweight world champion against Pulev at the O2 Arena, after comprehensively beating Andy Ruiz Jr in their rematch in Saudi Arabia in December last time out.
The 31-year-old, IBF, WBA ‘Super,’ WBO and IBO title holder was set to face former world title challenger, Pulev on June 20 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and Hearn has predicted a devastating display from the Brit in their rescheduled clash.
“I went to see him yesterday, he looked absolutely sensational,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“He’s moving so well. We know he’s brought in a couple of new trainers with Rob McCracken leading the way.
“He’s learning, he’s punching so hard, so sharp, so fast. I think this is going to be a tough fight against Kubrat Pulev. I also think he is going to absolutely destroy him.
“I think he’s going to break him down, he’s going to dissect him, and he’s going to punish him.
“I think you’re going to see a statement. I don’t want to put too much pressure on him, but I really do. That’s what I think.
“AJ will always be a relaxed, humble guy, but I really believe having seen the improvement that he’s made, the spite in his punches, I think you’re going to get a thrilling display from Anthony Joshua.”
Joshua is potentially one win away from an undisputed heavyweight title showdown against WBC world champion, Tyson Fury, with the pair having already agreed to a two-fight deal for 2021, with a 50-50 split in the first bout.
However, Fury, who withdrew from a proposed UK homecoming on December 5, is currently waiting for a legal resolution after Deontay Wilder’s team went to mediation to resolve the issue of a trilogy, whilst Fury’s co-promoters Bob Arum and Frank Warren insist the timeframe for a trilogy has passed.
Fury ripped away the WBC belt from Wilder after a stunning display in their rematch in Las Vegas in February.
Joshua also has a WBO mandatory in Oleksandr Usyk awaiting his shot following his victory over Derek Chisora on October 31 and Hearn says the only focus for Joshua is on the 39-year-old Bulgarian.
“Not one person in the camp is talking about Fury,” Hearn added.
“I just know that if he deals with Pulev, the only fight, the only job that I’ve got is to make that fight with Fury immediately.
“He wants that fight badly, but he also knows he’s fighting one of the best heavyweights in the world against Pulev.”