Great Britain

Anthony Joshua warned he’s in for tougher ride against Pulev than Ruiz Jr who Bob Arum claims is NOT a power puncher


ANTHONY JOSHUA has been warned he is in for a tougher fight with Kubrat Pulev than he was against Andy Ruiz Jr.

Joshua defends his unified belts against IBF mandatory challenger Pulev next Saturday in front of a limited crown at Wembley Arena.

AJ comes into the title fight off the back of a points win against Ruiz in their December rematch, which came six months after he was initially beaten.

But Promoter Bob Arum - who worked with Ruiz from 2013 - 2019 - was left unimpressed with Joshua's win in Saudi Arabia.

And he has backed Pulev to provide a much sterner challenge, predicting he will knock out the Brit star.

Arum said, via the Betway Insider: “It's one thing to box and run around the ring, making out you're second coming of Muhammad Ali when you're fighting a fat, obese Andy Ruiz.

"But it's going to be a different story when you're fighting a fit and ready Pulev, who's in great shape and a good boxer.

“I believe Kubrat will be able to match Joshua with boxing ability and will have an opportunity to catch Joshua and knock him out.

"Pulev is very strong and has good pedigree, so Joshua won't be able to run and do what he did to Ruiz in the rematch.

"Pulev has the ability to corner Joshua and to take him out, so I believe not only is Pulev going to win the fight but he's going to win it by knockout.”

Joshua outboxed Ruiz comfortably over 12 rounds last year, to reclaim the WBA, IBF and WBO titles as well as preserve his career.

But Arum was shocked by his defeat beforehand - as he insisted Ruiz is no power puncher and as a result questioned AJ's chin.

He said: “We promoted Ruiz 30 times and most of the time he had trouble impacting opponents with his power.

"So, the fact he devastated Joshua so badly indicates to me Joshua has a big weakness and that is his inability to take a punch.

“I'm not a fool, I'm talking about what I've seen: I saw Anthony Joshua got knocked on his ass and thoroughly beaten not so long ago.”

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