Anthony Joshua Explains How the Referee Not Stopping the Kubrat Pulev Bout in Round 3 Helped Him

Published 02/02/2021, 11:45 PM EST
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA – DECEMBER 03: Anthony Joshua looks on ahead of the IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Title Fight between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua during the Clash On The Dunes Public Work Out at Public at the Investment Fund office complex on December 03, 2019 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)


Anthony Joshua bagged a dominant win over Kubrat Pulev on December 12th by stopping ‘The Cobra’ in the 9th round of their main-event clash. Relying on his uppercuts and thunderous hooks, Joshua looked confident from the beginning.

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In Round 3, he almost outpointed Pulev with brutal shots and many believed it to be a stoppage. However, the referee let the show go on and Joshua had to dig deep till the 9th round to regain his knockout game. While he could have bagged an early win in Round 3, Joshua found it beneficial to go the distance.

In conversation with Sporting News, Joshua recalled the fight and revealed how he pulled off the big win. “I have got a lot to lose and a lot to gain. So, I boxed with boxing IQ and I just don’t go out there and it’s not a street fight.”

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“I have an understanding of what the sweet science is about. So, I hit and I don’t get hit. Pull, counter, Boom! That aggression in me is always there, so I wanted to take him out,” said Joshua.

He added, “I felt like the referee should have stopped the fight, but in a way, I think it’s good because being out for a year, 9 rounds was perfect.”

Following the victory, he called out Tyson Fury to face him in an ultimate heavyweight title unification showdown. WBC champion Fury also accepted the offer, and we may see them collide by the end of this year.

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What’s next for Anthony Joshua?

At this stage, Tyson Fury is the only relevant option for the unified world champion. But if the fight doesn’t happen, WBO has unearthed some solutions for AJ.

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DIRIYAH, SAUDI ARABIA – DECEMBER 07: Anthony Joshua poses for a photo with the IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Title belts after the IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Title Fight between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua during the Matchroom Boxing ‘Clash on the Dunes’ show at the Diriyah Season on December 07, 2019 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

As per the new WBO rules, Anthony Joshua will have to defend his strap against the winner of Joe Joyce vs Oleksandr Usyk if he doesn’t fight Fury. So, AJ is set to be a busy man in 2021.

As he finds his way back to winning ways with a knockout, the world wants to see him butt heads with the best. Do you think Anthony Joshua will depart 2021 as the world champion?

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Raj Sarkar

1511 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.

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