Kubrat Pulev believes Oleksandr Usyk could stop Anthony Joshua in their upcoming world heavyweight title rematch.
Usyk and Joshua are set to clash for a second time on August 20 in Saudi Arabia, with promoter Eddie Hearn telling Pro Boxing Fans on Friday that a formal announcement is imminent.
Pulev, who was stopped in nine rounds by then-unified heavyweight world champion, Joshua in December 2020 expects Usyk, who comprehensively outpointed the Brit to claim the WBA ‘super’, WBO, IBF and IBO crowns at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September, to repeat the feat in perhaps even more conclusive fashion.
“I think Usyk is going to beat him,” Pulev told Pro Boxing Fans on Friday.
“He is going to win, maybe with [a] knockout.”
The 41-year-old, who bounced back from defeat to Joshua with a unanimous decision victory over Jerry Forrest last month is gearing up for a rematch of his own with Derek Chisora on July 9 at the O2 Arena, live on DAZN.
The former two-time world title challenger overcame Chisora by split decision in 2016 to win the vacant European heavyweight crown and says he is not ruling out winning by stoppage in their second outing.
“It’s going to be a really, really dangerous fight,” the Bulgarian added.
“But, I believe and I know that I’m a better boxer, technically better and everything.
“It’s going to be the same situation like our first match.”
Asked if he believes he will halt the 38-year-old, Pulev replied: “Why not?
“When he comes aggressive, I’ll give [it to] him good and it’s going to happen.”
‘The Cobra’ claims his camp for his clash with Joshua was hampered after contracting COVID-19, which he kept in private, although says he will head into his rematch with Chisora fully fit.
“My fight against Joshua here in London – I was not well prepared before the fight,” he said during Friday’s press conference.
“Before that fight I had COVID and I didn’t say anything about it. I was not prepared, no sparring and no nothing.
“I know I’m a very good boxer, technically I’m amazing.
“Everything, I have everything. That fight with Joshua I was just not well prepared.
“It was only my mistake. Now, I’m healthy and I’m good and I’m here to fight against my friend.”