Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev Fight Odds, Free Bets & Betting Offers: 12th December O2 Arena
Anthony Joshua is once again the unified heavyweight world champion of our time, not only the best boxer in the world but also a genuine clean personality and a big role model in the sports world. Still young and hungry he could very well remain at the top of the boxing world for many years to come after he claimed back his titles in December 2019 in Saudi Arabia following his shock defeat in New York to Andy Ruiz in June 2019.
The exceptional punch power of AJ means he has managed 21 knockouts in 23 wins, with only one defeat. Although the one loss was a big one, temporarily stripping the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles from the man mountain. AJ now has his sights set on the WBC belt to become the first undisputed world champion since Lennox Lewis.
The biggest fights of course attract some of the biggest wagers in sports betting and therefore the bookies take this market very seriously, with many running prices or promotions even at a loss to attract your custom. On this page we look at who has the best prices and offers for the latest Josuha fights, we also look at the profile and stats of the man mountain. No one since Frank Bruno has appealed to a more diverse public audience than AJ and this means unprecedented betting value can be found for his bouts.
Anthony Joshua Fights Betting Offers for 2021
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Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev
|Date & Time (UK)||Where||Weight||Title||TV|
|12/12/2020 ~10pm||London, O2 Arena||Heavyweight||WBA, IBF, WBO||Sky Box Office|
The second that the towel was thrown in from Deontay Wilder’s camp in the sixth round of his fight against Tyson Fury, the boxing world turned its attention to a possible bout between the Gypsy King and Anthony Joshua. It’s the heavyweight battle that everyone wants to see, but sometimes it’s simply not in the hands of the people that matter to arrange such things.
Those that question Anthony Joshua’s true boxing pedigree might well question whether he really does actually want to fight Fury, though the boxer himself would surely love to in order to silence his doubters. Sadly for him the IBF has said that he’ll have to take on the mandatory challenger first, whilst Deontay Wilder has triggered a rematch clause to take on Fury for a third time.
What They Are Fighting For?
Whilst Pulev doesn’t bring much to the table in the way of belts that the pair will be fighting over, the same cannot be said of Anthony Joshua. When AJ defeated Andy Ruiz Jr. back in December he reclaimed his WBA, IBF and WBO titles. Much as they were when he took on Ruiz the first time, all of those titles will be on the line this time around too.
Pulev might not have anything worth fighting for in a belt sense, but he very much has something to prove. He was supposed to fight AJ back in 2017 but had to withdraw after injuring his shoulder in sparring. Having fought 29 times and won 28 of them, he’ll be keen to prove that he’s good enough to fight at the top end in spite of his loss to Wladimir Klitschko.
From AJ’s point of view, this fight is about proving that the loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. was just a one off and that he is the fighter that everyone thought he was a few years ago. It will also be about getting it out of the way in order to hopefully set up a fight between him and Tyson Fury for the unification of the heavyweight belts.
Ironically there’s actually an argument that a unification fight will be easier to organise if Pulev wins. Bob Arum represents both Pulev and the Gypsy King, so the only thing he would need to do is create a deal with his own Top Rank office in order to put them up against each other. Things are far more complicated for Joshua, however.
What Do The Experts Think?
Luke Reddy, the boxing reporter for the BBC, believes that Anthony Joshua boxed a good, disciplined fight against Andy Ruiz Jr. in the rematch between the pair but looked ‘uneasy’ when the Mexican pressed him and put him under pressure. The big question for Pulev is whether he’ll be able to be front-footed in a bid to upset the odds.
Mike Costello, who works for BBC 5 Live, is also unconvinced that it will be the whitewash for AJ that some people seem to think. He said, “Pulev hurt Klitschko in the first round and hurt him with a jab…He’s beaten Hughie Fury and Derek Chisora”. He also believes that a fight between Joshua and Fury will become inevitable if he beats Pulev.
The Head Of Boxing Development at Sky Sports, Adam Smith, believes that Pulev is a ‘dangerous proposition’ and has the sort of ‘top-level experience’ that will mean that AJ needs to be at his best at the Tottenham Hotspur to avoid another upset. Tyson Fury, in typically offensive fashion, said, “Pulev and Joshua are a pair of pussies, both of them. It’s not a fight that’s really interesting to me”.
When the pair were originally scheduled to fight back in 2017 Steve Bunce, the boxing expert, said that there was a risk that AJ could lose his titles if his head wasn’t in the right place. He said, “Joshua will need to make sure that he treats Pulev with respect as both a puncher and a boxer”. The only question is whether the three years that have passed since have changed anything.
What’s Next For AJ?
The future looked decidedly set for Anthony Joshua even before the first bout with Andy Ruiz Jr., with bouts against fellow heavyweights such as Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury likely to be in the pipeline at some point. That didn’t really change just because AJ lost to the Destroyer in New York June, it has really just delayed any potential fight by at least a year, but the importance of one of those fights, should they happen, will have increased ten-fold.
The loss to Ruiz Jr. left Joshua’s reputation in tatters, but a disciplined display in the re-match in Saudi-Arabia in December has won over many doubters. AJ is now in an elite group of boxers to have reclaimed the heavyweight title, that includes Muhammad Ali, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson and Floyd Patterson.
While most fans would like to see a unification fight with Fury for the WBC belt unfortunately, yet again, boxing politics will get in the way. The IBF have insisted Joshua now fight mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev while we wait for Fury and Wilder to have another rematch.
Many in the industry thought he might be able to sideline this fight for a while and set up a more high profile bout against fellow Brit Dillian Whyte who recently had a anti-doping charge dropped against him that now makes in eligible. White beat AJ as an amateur back in 2009, however, Whyte’s only professional loss was against Johusa in December 2015 when he was knocked out in the 7th round. There is therefore a lot of history to this potential fight that could force a re-match before any potential unification fight which is now likely to be in 2021 if it comes about.
Kubrat Pulev Profile
Anthony Joshua is well-known when it comes to British boxing fans, but perhaps not as much is known about Kubrat Pulev. Here’s some information about him to help inform you of what might happen when the pair meet.
Kubrat Venkov Pulev was born on the 4th of May 1981 in Sofia, the capital city of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria. Nicknamed Kobrata, which translates as ‘The Cobra’, he was twice the European heavyweight title holder between 2012 and 2016. He also won the Gold medal during the 2008 European Championships.
Whilst obviously no slouch, at 38 years of age there are plenty who think that the Bulgarian’s better days are behind him. He’ll be out to prove them wrong, which is something that he’s done throughout his career. He won the Strandzha Cup in Bulgaria in 2002, beating the world champion Odlanier Solís in the process. He then lost to him in the World Championships the year after.
It was the start of what has been a somewhat topsy-turvy career, with his professional life following on in much the same way as things had when he was an amateur. He turned pro in September of 2009 when he was 28, defeating Florian Benche by TKO in the second round of their bout. Three more fights in three months cemented his position as a pro.
He became the number one IBF heavyweight title contender in 2013, eventually leading to a fight against Wladimir Klitschko in November of that year. Whilst he gave him a spirited fight, Klitschko knocked Pulev down three times on the way to a knockout in round five. He took 11 months out after the fight before retiring to fight Maurice Harris in December of 2015.
A member of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Pulev has a brother who is also a boxer. Despite being in a relationship with Bulgarian singer Andrea for more than a decade, Pulev lost his boxing licence after forcibly kissing a female reporter during an interview. His licence was only reinstated after he completed a sexual harassment prevention class.
Kubrat Pulev Stats and Facts
- Full Name: Kubrat Venkov Pulev
- Nickname: The Cobra
- Nationality: Bulgarian
- Date of Birth: 4th May 1981
- Stance: Orthodox
- Weight: Heavyweight
- Height: 6 foot 4 inches
- Reach: 80 inches
- Professional Record To Date: 29 fights, 28 wins, 1 loss, 0 draws, 14 knock-outs
- Titles: Former European Heavyweight
Anthony Joshua Profile
Born in the UK on the fifteenth of October 1989 but raised in Nigeria until he was twelve, Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua has become one of the best-known boxers in the world. Perhaps what is most remarkable about his rise is that he only started boxing at the age of eighteen when Ben Lleyemi, his cousin and a professional boxer in his own right, suggested that he take it up. Sufficed to say that his success since then has proven his cousin’s suggestion to have been a worthwhile one.
A natural athlete from an early age, he showed promise in both sprinting and football but chose not to pursue a career in either of them. Joshua’s mother, Yeta, was Nigerian and his father, Robert, was English but of Nigerian and Irish descent. Having travelled to his ancestral home at an early age, Joshua returned to Watford when his parents divorced in 2001. He was midway through Year Seven of school at the time, but he didn’t allow the disruption to affect his life to any real extent. Here’s a look at his story.
Despite only starting boxing relatively late in his youth, Anthony Joshua was a quick learner at the sport thanks to the coaching he received at Finchley Amateur Boxing Club in the Barnet area of North London. He won his first tournament two years after joining when he picked up the Haringey Box Cup, retaining it the following year. Unsurprisingly, those trophies gave him a taste for winning and in 2010 he fought what was just his eighteenth bout but saw him victorious in the senior Amateur Boxing Association Championship.
On the back of that, the then twenty-one-year-old was offered his first professional contract, which was worth £50,000. It was an easy decision for him, though, later saying, “Turning down that £50,000 was easy. I didn’t take up the sport for money, I want to win medals”. Winning medals was something that he was learning how to do, defending his ABA Championship title in 2011. Whilst he was known domestically at that stage, it wasn’t until 2011 that Joshua began to earn respect in an international sense. Having travelled to Azerbaijan to take part in the World Amateur Boxing Championships in Baku, he beat the World and Olympic champion, Italian Robert Cammarelle.
The domestic success that Anthony Joshua enjoyed in 2010 saw him invited to join the GB Boxing team and he soon defeated Amin Isa to become the British amateur champion at the GB Amateur Boxing Championships. After defeating Cammerelle in Baku, Joshua also beat Erik Pfeifer on his way to the final and in the process secured a place in the 2012 Olympic Games, which were due to be held in London. At the same time, he was also named by the Boxing Writers Club of Great Britain as the Amateur Boxer if the Year. Despite that and the silver medal won at the WAB Championships in Azerbaijan, Joshua was still a novice when it came to international boxing when the 2012 Olympics got underway.
Perhaps one of the most controversial moments of Anthony Joshua’s career to date occurred in the last sixteen bout during the Olympics when he went up against Erislandy Savón, the Cuban boxer who was ranked number four in the world by the AIBA at the time. The home boxer was awarded a 17:16 win by the judges after three hard-fought rounds, with many believing that Savón should’ve won but that the home crowd had swayed the decision. Regardless, it set up a quarter-final bout with Zhang Zhilei, who had won the silver medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, with Joshua dropping him in the second round. He took on the Kazakhstani boxer Ivan Dychko in the semi-final, winning 13:11.
The final saw him come up against a former foe in the shape of Roberto Cammarelle. At the time, Cammarelle was the reigning Olympic Champion and had twice been World Champion, so it was little surprise when he raced into the lead thanks to scores of 6:5 and 13:10. Joshua had a decent third round, however, and in the end the judges called it 18:18 in a decision that critics once again felt was a bit of a ‘home decision’. His gold medal at the 2012 Olympics earned Joshua an MBE in the 2013 New Year Honours.
Professional Heavyweight Boxer
Joshua turned professional in July of 2013 when he signed with Matchroom Boxing. He fought nineteen times in the following three years and remained undefeated during that time. He defeated Charles Martin in 2016 to lift the Heavyweight belt, retaining it when he beat Dominic Breazeale in the same year. In December 2016 he fought Eric Molina and retained the title once more.
Perhaps the biggest fight of Joshua’s career to-date came in April of 2017 when the former Olympic gold medalist went up against Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium. At the weigh-in, the Ukrainian came in at 240 and a quarter pounds, whilst Joshua was 250 pounds. In the fight, both men gave everything in front of ninety thousand people and the Englishman won by technical knockout in the eleventh round. Even without the knockout, Joshua was ahead with two of the judges.
As a professional, Anthony Joshua has fought twenty-four times to date and has won twenty-one of them by knockout, two by decision and of course one loss, when he temporarily lost his belts to Andy Ruiz in June 2019, before claiming them back with a display of traditional boxing in Saudi Arabia in December of the same year.
Since fighting Klitschko he has taken on Carlos Takam, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin and Andy Ruiz, though the big fight that he wants is against Tyson Fury, who he called out after his win in Wembley back in 2017.
In order to fight Fury or Wilder of course AJ will have to first get through some mandatory challengers, and given the shock Ruiz win in 2019 there will be a belief within these challengers that they could also stun AJ and take his belts. Whatever way you look at it the future of AJ and the heavyweight titles is exciting and filled with potential drama.
Anthony Joshua Stats and Facts
- Full Name: Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua
- Nickname: AJ
- Nationality: British
- Date of Birth: 15th October 1989
- Stance: Orthodox
- Weight: Heavyweight
- Height: 6 foot 6 inches
- Reach: 82 inches
- Professional Record To Date: 24 fights, 23 wins, 1 loses, 0 draws, 103 rounds, 21 knock-outs
- Titles: Former IBF, WBA, WBO, IBO