Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev build-up LIVE: Pair have verbal spat at weigh in as AJ tips scales heavier than Ruiz bout
12th December 2020

ANTHONY JOSHUA'S weigh-in is over as he gets set to face Kubrat Pulev at Wembley Arena on Saturday night.

Joshua, 31, was originally set to fight Pulev, 39 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium back in June but the bout was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Stay up to date with all the fighters and weights as they roll in…

  • William Pugh

    GOOD MORNING BOXING FANS

    Anthony Joshua reckons only a ‘good psychopath’ can sleep as soundly as him before an assassination bid.

    He said: “Once a killer, always a killer. I sleep good. Certain people can’t sleep at night because they’re really tuned up for a fight.

    “But I must be a good psychopath because I’m sleeping like a baby. I’m not worried. I do this. I go in and fight every day if I have to.

    “If a shot lands and causes a lot of damage I will be looking to take him out. That doesn’t leave someone.”

    Meanwhile, Pulev can replace legend Hristo Stoichkov as Bulgaria’s most iconic sportsman with a win over Anthony Joshua.

    The Gunslinger played for CSKA Sofia and Barcelona twice, and scored 37 goals in 83 Bulgaria games.

    He won the Golden Boot at the 1994 World Cup, helping his little nation to a shock semi-final appearance.

    And he managed his national side between 2004 and 2007 to cement his legacy as the country’s greatest ever athlete.

    But Pulev said: “He is my friend, Stoichkov, he is a good man and a very good guy. I know most of the famous people in Bulgaria.

    “He is a good friend because we have one restaurant and he lives near it and every time when he is in Bulgaria, he calls me and we sit and eat together, joke together.

    “Will I be as big a star as him if I win? Yes. In my country, for sure.”

    And finally, Joshua admitted he will not take a knee tomorrow before the Pulev fight but is still dedicated to beating racism.

    He revealed: “Good question. No, I won’t take the knee.

    “I’m trying to do more tangible things. What we’re trying to do is create a union to support British culture.

    “That’s important – to showcase people from the Afro-Caribbean community as valuable members of British society. I think that’s more important.

    “That’s what we’re working on at the minute. Different athletes, different people, different places.

    “So taking a knee is important – 100%. But for me, personally, I’m doing something different this time around.”

  • Joe Brophy

    DEADLY INSTINCTS

    Anthony Joshua reckons only a ‘good psychopath’ can sleep as soundly as him before an assassination bid.

    He said: “Once a killer, always a killer. I sleep good. Certain people can’t sleep at night because they’re really tuned up for a fight.

    “But I must be a good psychopath because I’m sleeping like a baby. I’m not worried. I do this. I go in and fight every day if I have to.

    “If a shot lands and causes a lot of damage I will be looking to take him out. That doesn’t leave someone.”

  • Joe Brophy

    ANT MAN

    A final message from Anthony Joshua ahead of tomorrow's fight…

  • Joe Brophy

    TALE OF THE TAPE

    Here's a reminder of how Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev face up ahead of tomorrow's fight…

  • Joe Brophy

    KING OF THE RING

    Back in May, AJ worked exclusively with SunSport to champion real-life heroes in the Who Cares Wins awards.

    And the KO artist wants to continue celebrating the brave men and women – with a large immigrant and BAME representation – who help and care for the most vulnerable people in the country.

    He said: “I’ve employed someone with the team who is actually working on it. It’s a difficult task but no success comes without difficulty.

    "Hopefully it comes to fruition and it’s really only to do positive things in the great British environment.

    "There’s sometimes issues with stigma and stereotypes. So it’s to showcase NHS workers, architects, athletes and be positive for everyone in the community.

    "We’ve created a deck, a website, and we’re doing foundational things with grassroots charities.

    "I’m not a full-time activist so I’m more than likely to slip up here and there.

    "So what I would like to do is to team up with charities who deal with these things day in and day out and support their causes and champion certain things."

  • Joe Brophy

    RESHAPING SOCIETY

    Anthony Joshua will not take a knee tomorrow before the Kubrat Pulev fight but is still dedicated to beating racism.

    He revealed: "Good question. No, I won’t take the knee.

    "I’m trying to do more tangible things. What we’re trying to do is create a union to support British culture.

    "That’s important – to showcase people from the Afro-Caribbean community as valuable members of British society. I think that’s more important.

    "That’s what we’re working on at the minute. Different athletes, different people, different places.

    "So taking a knee is important – 100%. But for me, personally, I’m doing something different this time around.”

  • Joe Brophy

    BRIT OF ALRIGHT

    Anthony Joshua has claimed that he will answer no more questions about fighting Tyson Fury until after he faces Kubrat Pulev.

    He told 5 Live Boxing: "When people ask questions about Fury, in the back of my head I'm thinking my focus is Pulev.

    "What I've learned is I'm not going to bother entertaining it anymore.

    "All the other conversations about future opponents can come the night after the fight."

  • Joe Brophy

    PUNCH DRUNK

    Exclusive by Joe Miles: Anthony Joshua's fight against Kubrat Pulev may not be shown in pubs or bars this weekend.

    Sky Sports have warned fans that the heavyweight showdown could finish later than 11pm.

    Pubs and bars are only allowed to stay open until 11pm in Tier One and Tier Two areas.

    With ring walks set for around 10.30pm, they may not be able to show the entire fight.

    A statement from Sky Sports read: "Due to the timings of the main event between Joshua and Pulev, we are advising those Sky Business customers (pubs/bars etc) who wish to purchase the Pay-Per-View event that they may not be able to show the full fight due to the 11pm curfew in line with the Government restrictions.

    "Ultimately the decision is with the venue if they wish to screen the fight but we are making them aware of government legislation and the risks posed if the fight continues beyond 11pm."

  • William Pugh

    JOSHING AROUND

    There was no love lost between Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev as they faced off this afternoon.

    The two men exchanged fierce words as the atmosphere ramped up ahead of tomorrow night's clash.

  • William Pugh

    'GOD IS WITH ME'

    AJ was quick to tweet after his public confrontation with Kubrat Pulev.

    He shared a photo of the two men staring each other down just before things got heated.

    And the Brit simply wrote: "God is with me in battle."

  • Jack Figg

    TRASH TALK

    Here is another angle of Pulev giving it the biggen to Joshua.

    AJ said: "That's just how we are, innit? Come talking a lot of rubbish, I don't want to swear on TV but he spoke a lot of rubbish.

    "It's just back yourself really, that's all it is."

    Asked what he told Pulev, Joshua responded: "I don't really want to repeat it on live TV."

  • Jack Figg

    ON THE PUL

    Kubrat Pulev gives his side on the war-of-words with Joshua.

    He revealed: “I told him that I am ready and that I respect him, he is Olympic and world champion, so I respect him so much.

    “But I am the better boxer and I told him that I will show him tomorrow and he did not like that.

    “His reaction did not surprise me, it was normal, he is the world champion, for now.

    "It’s his last day as world champion. Tomorrow will be different.

    “I did not try to get into his head, I just wanted to tell him that I am much better than him and I will show the whole world tomorrow.

    “I don’t hate him, I told him four or five times that I respect him but I am so hungry.

    “It will be a very interesting fight, I feel amazing, I am now in paradise because I am a soldier. It is time for the big show.”

    Credit: ©Mark Robinson/Matchroom

     

  • Jack Figg

    ED'S UP

    Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed exactly what was getting said between the two human tanks.

    He said: “Pulev just kept saying 'tomorrow, tomorrow' so Joshua went 'What do you mean tomorrow?’” Hearn said.

    “Pulev said 'Tomorrow I'm going to beat you and show you'.

    “Pulev kept talking so Joshua said 'Come over here and say it'.

    “Pulev said again 'tomorrow I'll beat you' and AJ said 'What? You? Disrespect me and I'll show you'

    “Pulev said 'I respect you' and that dampened it.

    "Pulev then said 'Tomorrow I will beat you, I will finish you, I will end you. You know I'm better than you'.

    "AJ wasn't rattled."

    Credit: ©Mark Robinson/Matchroom

     

  • Jack Figg

    NO WEIGH!

    Here is the moment Joshua and Pulev got heated after their weigh in.

    AJ said: “Many years I’ve been watching boxing and I’ve seen so many fighters talk a lot of rubbish and then they get smacked up.

    “That’s just him doing what fighters do. Unless you study boxing, that type of stuff would intimidate someone. But that doesn’t really intimidate me.

    “I would have clapped him in his jaw there and then but I’ve got to do it tomorrow.”

  • Jack Figg

    ANT NO MESSING

    Anthony Joshua had to be pulled away from Kubrat Pulev at their Friday weigh-in as the Saturday fight threatened to start early.

    AJ got his giant right hand on the Bulgaraian’s left shoulder after the 40-year-old veteran overstepped the mark with whatever was being said underneath the masks.

    Credit: ©Mark Robinson/Matchroom

    After weighing in at 17st 2lbs, three pounds heavier than he was for the rematch win over Andy Ruiz Jr in December 2019, AJ said: “I don’t know what sparked that. That’s just how we are.

    “He has spoken a lot of rubbish and now he has to back it up.

    “I have seen so many fighters talk a load of rubbish and then get smacked up.

    “If you don’t know boxing then that sort of thing could intimidate you but I could have whacked him up there but I have to save it for tomorrow.

    “I sparred on Thursday so tonight will just be a shake-out.

    “I have studied him and he thinks he is a warrior but he is up against a real one now.

    “When people come in the ring with me they are confident but I take their soul away and get them out of there.”

    Pulev looked in great shape for a 39-year-old veteran and it was confirmed that he had trimmed 9lbs off since his last fight back in November 2019.

    “My physique is different,” he said. “I have a lot of experience. 

    “In amateur boxing I have more than 300 amateur fights, I don't know how many. 

    “But in pro boxing, also 10 years, I don't know maybe the physique with the years and fights comes stronger.”

  • Jack Figg

    FINAL WORDS

    "Good weight. Yeah, I feel good.

    "I'll train tonight, keep a good routine. I sparred yesterday so tonight will be a shake out.

    "I've studied him, he thinks he's a warrior. I told him, 'Don't let the fighters you've fought gas you up. You're in against a real one now'.

    "When people come in the ring against me they're confident then after a few rounds their soul gets destroyed.

    "Once I see that I can take them out.

    "We're big boys, I don't know how to explain it but we punch heavy. First man to land, I think that will be the last man standing."

  • Jack Figg

    FIGHTING TALK

    Joshua adds: "Many years I've been watching boxing and I've seen so many fighters talk a lot of rubbish and then they get smacked up.

    "That's just him doing what fighters do. Unless you study boxing, that type of stuff would intimidate someone. But that doesn't really intimidate me.

    "I would have clapped him in his jaw there and then but I've got to do it tomorrow."

    Credit: ©Mark Robinson/Matchroom
  • Jack Figg

    THE CHAMP SAYS

    Joshua: "That's just how we are, innit? Come talking a lot of rubbish, I don't want to swear on TV but he spoke a lot of rubbish.

    "It's just back yourself really, that's all it is."

    Asked what he told Pulev, Joshua responded: "I don't really want to repeat it on live TV."

    Credit: ©Mark Robinson/Matchroom
  • Jack Figg

    WEIGHT A SEC

    Joshua comes in at 17st 2lb – 3lb heavier than he weighed against Andy Ruiz Jr in their rematch last year.

    The two exchange words on stage for a long while.

    Shame we can't hear it as Carl Froch is talking over the action.

    Credit: ©Mark Robinson/Matchroom
  • Jack Figg

    NO JOSHING

    Here comes the champ…

    And Joshua tips the scales at 240.8lb – heavier than his last fight.

    Shouts of 'TWO-TIME' fill up the room.

  • Jack Figg

    ON THE PUL

    Pulev, the challenger up first.

    He comes in at 239.7lb as he prepares to challenge for the WBA, IBF and WBO world titles.

    His only career defeat came to Wladimir Klitschko in 2014.

  • Jack Figg

    THE BIG TIME

    Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev up next. ]

    Many speculating the weight AJ will weigh…

    He tipped the scales at 16st 13lb for last year against Andy Ruiz Jr.

  • Jack Figg

    ALL OK

    Joshua's protegee Lawrence Okolie co-headlines the event by facing late replacement Nikodem Jezewski.

    Both them come in just over 199lb – under the cruiserweight limit.

    Okolie was meant to fight Krzysztof Głowacki for the vacant WBO belt until the Pole withdrew injured.

  • Jack Figg

    FUR REAL

    Tyson Fury's cousin makes his return to the ring against Mariusz Wach over ten rounds.

    Wach, who lost against Dillian Whyte last year, weighs 274lb.

    Manchester's Hughie comes in at 247lb.

    Credit: ©Mark Robinson/Matchroom

     

  • Jack Figg

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