Kubrat Pulev has vowed to shatter hopes of an all-British undisputed heavyweight clash between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury by dethroning unified champion, Joshua on Saturday night.
Pulev stands in the way of a showdown between WBA ‘Super,’ IBF and WBO holder, Joshua and WBC champion, Fury, with two proposed fights in place between the pair for 2021.
IBF mandatory Pulev, who was scheduled to face Joshua in June prior to the COVID-19 pandemic says he will capitalise on the chinks he sees in the Brit’s armour, when the pair meet at The SSE Arena.
“We see a lot of mistakes from Anthony,” Pulev told Matchroom Boxing.
“A lot of bad sides to him. I think these mistakes, and the bad sides, stay.
“The most important thing is how I perform on Saturday night. When I am good, I beat him well.
“Right now I feel very good, strong and powerful. I am very strong heading into this fight.
“We will see how Joshua performs. I don’t know what to expect from him. It doesn’t matter to me. For me it’s only important what I do in the ring and how I prepare.
“How is my strategy? How is my boxing? This is what is important.”
The 39-year-old launches a second tilt at world honours after losing to Wladimir Klitschko in five rounds in an unsuccessful bid for the IBF crown in 2014.
However, the Bulgarian has won eight on the spin since, including victories over Derek Chisora and Hughie Fury, who faces Mariusz Wach on the card and Pulev insists he is an improved fighter and says he is fighting in memory of his late father.
“I will perform very differently because I have a lot of experience from the Klitschko fight. I will be a new Kubrat Pulev,” the 39-year-old added.
“This fight is not only for me. This fight isn’t just for boxing. It is for all of Bulgaria.
“Nobody from my country has ever been Heavyweight Champion of the World. That’s why it will be so good for my country and my people. Bulgarian fans will be really happy.
“This was my late father’s dream. That is why me and my brother are here. His project was to have sons, and for them to become boxing champions.
“And we are now real, this is now fact. He looks down from above and I’m sure he’s happy. He wants to win on Saturday night with me.”
“I feel healthy and happy. I have a lot of energy. After the fight and after the win, I will be really happy.”
Joshua, who fights for the first time since beating Andy Ruiz Jr in their rematch in December, will edge closer to a showdown with Fury should he come through Pulev, with the ‘Gypsy King’ rumoured to be ringside at The SSE Arena, whilst Oleksandr Usyk remains the 31-year-old’s WBO mandatory challenger.
However, ‘The Cobra’ insists he will quash talk of an all-British bout and instead receive his own shot against the WBC champion.
“I think after this fight I’m going to fight with Tyson Fury. It will be good.
“I don’t believe that the Joshua vs. Fury fight is going to happen because I will win on Saturday night.
“I think the world needs a new World Champion like me. I am the new World Champion. I am coming.”