Bookmakers tip Joshua to win in match against Pulev Oct 28 in Cardiff
Barely 24 hours after it was officially announced that Anthony Joshua would take on Kubrat Pulev in his first defence of the WBA crown, along with his IBF belt, bookmakers are already stacking the odds in favour of the British boxer of Nigerian parentage.
After taking down Wladimir Klitscho, Joshua was reported to have nursed a rematch with Klitscho, the hunky Ukrainian. But he will now face Kubrat Pulev.
Klitschko, 41, was twice knocked down by Joshua in their April showdown as the Brit became a two-belt world champion for the first time. Klitschko subsequently retired leaving Joshua to face one of his mandatories – either IBF challenger Kubrat Puelv or the WBA’s selection Luis Ortiz.
Pulev has confirmed on his official Facebook page that he has got the nod and will face Joshua in Cardiff on October 28.
But the IBF and WBA champion has admitted that another bout against Klitschko would have been up there with some of the greatest fights of all time.
Anthony Joshua beat Wladimir Klitschko in a stunning 11th-round stoppage at Wembley Stadium to become unified heavyweight champion
“Klitschko was a sick fight,” Joshua told the Daily Mail.
“[Evander] Holyfield or Riddick Bowe because those type of fights I like, they were just like the Klitschko fight.
“Ron Lyle-George Foreman [in 1976] was the same kind of fight as the Klitschko fight so I would definitely like to fight the likes of those guys but because I have experienced it, I wouldn’t change it for the world, that was a good scrap.
“So I would fight Klitschko again, that’s why I was ready to rematch him because I like fights like that.”
Pulev only has one defeat on his record when he was knocked out by Klitschko himself in Germany three years ago.
Joshua also found himself on the canvas in his bout against the legendary heavyweight but got back up and went on to record a sensational stoppage in the 11th round.
And the 27-year-old believes it was his desire to succeed – as opposed to his boxing ability – that got him through that epic bout.