Joshua knocks out Pulev to set up potential Fury fight
Anthony Joshua stated he wishes to combine all 4 world heavyweight boxing titles in an all-British clash with Tyson Fury after a dominant ninth round knockout of Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev at London’s Wembley Arena on Saturday.
In front of 1,000 fans, with participation restricted due to coronavirus constraints, Joshua made sure there was no repeat of a shock defeat in his very first clash with Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019 as the 39-year-old Pulev was swotted aside.
Attention will now rely on the possibility of a much-anticipated clash with WBC champ Fury in 2021.
“I’m up for anything. Who wants to see Anthony Joshua box Tyson Fury in 2021?” Joshua asked the crowd to a chorus of cheers.
“I started this game in 2013 and I’ve been chasing the belts ever since.
“Whoever has actually got the belt, I would like to complete with them. If that is Tyson Fury then let it be Tyson Fury.”
Pulev had lost just once previously in his career to Wladimir Klitschko in 2014, but was outclassed by Joshua, who could have had victory wrapped up within three rounds.
Twice Pulev was given a count by the referee in round three after he was left flailing on the ropes by an explosive burst of punches from Joshua.
The IBF, WBA and WBO world champion then surprisingly took his foot off the accelerator to allow Pulev to hang in the fight.
But in round nine three uppercuts in quick succession put Pulev back on the canvas and this time he did not get back up in time as Joshua took his career record to 24-1.
An agreement in principle for Joshua and WBC champion Fury to finally go head-to-head has been in place since earlier this year.
“Beginning with tomorrow, we make the Tyson Fury battle quickly. It’s the only battle to be made in boxing. It is the greatest battle in British boxing history,” said Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.
“I understand he (Joshua) desires it. He is the very best heavyweight worldwide, I assure you. He’ll break him down, he’ll knock him out.”
Fury also confirmed he wants the fight with a post on social media shortly after Joshua’s win.
“I desire the battle, I desire the battle next,” said Fury, who has not been in the ring since beating Deontay Wilder in February.
“I’ll knock him out inside 3 rounds.”
Nevertheless, Fury might be contractually required to combat Wilder for a 3rd time prior to handling Joshua.
After the very first bout was controversially stated a draw, Wilder triggered a rematch provision following Fury’s success in the 2nd battle.
A 3rd clash in between the 2 was delayed previously this year due to coronavirus.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.