Joshua KOs Pulev to retain heavyweight titles, eyes Fury next

By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) – World heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua produced a destructive surface to knock out Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev near completion of the ninth round to keep his IBF, WBO and WBA belts at Wembley Arena on Saturday.

The 31-year-old Briton had actually looked near winning when he floored Pulev in the 3rd round however the opposition recuperated to evaluate the house favourite in front of a minimal crowd of 1,000.

However there was no escape for the opposition in the ninth round as Joshua landed a clubbing right upper-cut which sent out Pulev to the canvas. The 39-year-old got up however Joshua linked with another directly right-hand man to end the contest.

The champ’s 24th win from 25 expert battles establishes the possibility of a tasty marriage clash next year with fellow Briton Tyson Fury who holds the WBC belt.

“I stuck to what I know best, looking at where I’m going to put my shots,” Joshua stated at ringside. “When they are successful they are successful. It’s less talk and more action.”

Inquired about combating Fury, Joshua put the concern to the audience: “Who wants to see Anthony Joshua fight Tyson Fury in 2021,” he stated, to which the crowd roared their approval.

The 32-year-old Fury, whose sibling Hughie was combating on the undercard, fasted to react on Twitter.

“I want the fight, I want the fight next, I’ll knock him out inside three rounds,” he stated.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn aspired to get the set together, stating: “Starting from tomorrow, we make the Tyson Fury fight straight away. It’s the only fight to be made in boxing. It is the biggest fight in British boxing history.”

INTERESTING BATTLE

The Joshua-Pulev battle, which was initially arranged for the Tottenham Hotspur Football Arena in June however held off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was interesting, if not a traditional.

Pulev’s only defeat in his previous 29 contests can be found in 2014 versus Wladimir Klitschko and the gritty Bulgarian showed a worthwhile opposition for Joshua’s belts.

After a cagey opening round, Joshua let loose an effective mix in the 2nd, which was welcomed with a laugh by Pulev. There was no smiling from the Bulgarian in the 3rd round though as he strolled onto a best upper cut.

Joshua looked one punch far from completing it however Pulev in some way made it through an attack to make it to the bell.

Pulev restored his grace in the 4th, nevertheless, and Joshua looked a little reluctant, in spite of his remarkable firepower.

Joshua was captured by a number of rights in the 5th however by the time the ninth started he had actually won every round.

Still, it was going to take something unique to stop Pulev which minute got here near completion of the ninth as Joshua produced a destructive surface to a battle that was a possible challenging difficulty to a Fight of Britain face-off with Fury.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Modifying by Ken Ferris)

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.