Anthony Joshua is a gentleman of the game. He is calm, collected, and has never engaged in what one would call trash-talk in the lead-up to a fight. Needless to say, it wasn’t surprising to see him pay his respect towards Bulgarian boxer Kubrat Pulev ahead of first title defense since reclaiming the gold.
In a conversation with Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports, Anthony Joshua shared his thoughts on Pulev. He stated that he has nothing but respect for the Bulgarian boxer who has suffered just one loss as a professional.
‘AJ’ said, “I actually respect him. That’s the thing. I actually have a level of respect for him. Not as a person, because I don’t know him. As a fighter, I have a level of respect for him. He’s been in with Klitschko even though he got beat. But it takes a man to get there.”
While Pulev may not have fared with the level of competition that Joshua has, the Bulgarian still possesses the ability to upset the British heavyweight. He is the current IBF mandatory challenger and will look to get his hands on the unified gold with a win over AJ next weekend inside O2 Arena in London.
Kubrat Pulev has stiff boxing and great movement. However, he is 39 years old and lacks the kind of competition that AJ brings to the squared circle. The heavyweight champion of the world, Anthony Joshua carries tremendous power and has made significant improvements to his game ever since losing to Andy Ruiz Jr.
It will be over 12 months since Joshua last stepped inside the ring. With fans allowed inside the arena, it promises to be a boxing spectacle to end the year. Should Joshua triumph over Pulev come December 12, there’s a reason to believe he will take on Tyson Fury for the undisputed heavyweight gold. Fury currently reigns as the WBC heavyweight champion, and both the boxers have signed a two-fight deal scheduled to take place in 2021.
Joshua, though, is right to respect his next opponent, before looking ahead to another one.