Anthony Johnson v Kubrat Pulev – Johnson odds-on to beat Bulgarian challenger

Joshua odds-on to retain titles against mandatory challenger Pulev

Kubrat Pulev / Bulgaria ©imago images / Focus Images 03.03.2020

Anthony Johnson will be fighting in London next at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. But his fight against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev feels like something of an anti-climax. The big hope was that next there was going to be a massive unification fight for all of the heavyweight belts between Johson and Tyson Fury.

Not yet. The wait goes on.

Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev Betting Odds – Winner*

Anthony Joshua 1/10
Kubrat Pulev 11/2
Draw 33/1
* (betting odds taken from Paddy Power at 02:02 GMT on Tuesday, March 3rd 2020)

Fury will have to wait

Will we ever get to see the Joshua v Fury fight for all the spoils? Well, because of Deontay Wilder triggering a rematch clause against Tyson Fury following his defeat last month to him, it leaves Joshua out in the cold a bit.

Instead of putting his three heavyweight belts on the line against Fury, AJ is going to have to risk them against 38-year-old Kubrat Pulev, a mandatory IBF challenger.

So both Fury and Johsua are going to have to overcome roadblocks in the summer before any potential meeting.

Date set

The fight between Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev will happen on Saturday, June 20th. After having been massively upset by Andy Ruiz in New York in June 2019, Joshua lost all three of his heavyweight belts, the WBA, IBF, WBO along with the IBO title.

But in a rematch in December last year in Saudi Arabia, Joshua won all the belts back in a unanimous decision. It leaves Joshua at 23-1-0, 21 KOs in his career record.

Fight finally happens

Anthony Joshua was scheduled to meet Pulev back in October 2017, but his opponent had to pull out late on because of a shoulder problem. Joshua instead fought Carlos Takam on short notice and claimed a 10th round TKO.

So this fight at least has come around. Now Joshua has to get through this successfully to have any shot at whoever comes out on top in the Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder rematch.

Anthony Joshua is the 1/10 favourite to claim the win* (betting odds taken from Paddy Power at 02:02 GMT on Tuesday, March 3rd 2020).

Who is Pulev?

The 38-year-old Bulgarian is a former European heavyweight champion. He has only been beaten once in his career which was when he was knocked out by Wladimir Klitschko in November 20145. He is a journeyman and shouldn’t drastically trouble Joshua. But then everyone thought that about Andy Ruiz.

Pulev has been in the ring with the likes of Dereck Chisora (split decision) and Hughie Fury (unanimous decision) since his loss to Klitschko.

Pulev’s most recent fight was against America’s Rydell Booker in November last year. Pulev, aka The Cobra, took a unanimous decision win. Pulev holds a 28-1-0, 14 KO’s record. He’s not known for his power and he goes as an 11/2 early underdog against Joshua* (betting odds taken from Paddy Power at 02:02 GMT on Tuesday, March 3rd 2020).