Eddie Hearn has told William Hill that Anthony Joshua’s critics can expect a ‘different AJ this year’ as he prepares to face Kubrat Pulev, which is still tentative for Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London on June 20th.
Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the fight may get postponed to a date of July 25 at the same venue.
“Anthony had a great year last year in many ways. He fought in Madison Square Garden in New York and then in Saudi Arabia, but now he’s back at Spurs in a great stadium”, Hearn told William Hill. I’m feeling nervous for him as it’s a big homecoming which comes with pressure.
“Saudi was low key where he was removed from that pressure and it worked quite well for him. Now people will say ‘let’s see the old AJ and the big knockouts.’ But I think we’ll see a great fight against Pulev.”
Hearn is also confident that a deal will be pushed through for the winner of Joshua v Pulev to face the victor of Fury-Wilder in their title trilogy.
Also because of the pandemic, the Fury-Wilder trilogy is going to be pushed back from July 18 to a likely date of October 3.
“Fury-Wilder is still a big fight. Any fight that Wilder is involved in means anything can happen, but it was so one-sided" Hearn said.
"We’re willing to do that deal with Wilder just in case he beats Fury in a rematch too.”
First though, AJ must see off the challenge from the 38-year old Bulgarian Pulev and Hearn was adamant that Joshua has learned from the shock defeat to Ruiz.
“We can’t afford to take our eyes off the ball from AJ’s side with Pulev. Bob Arum is convinced Pulev will knock AJ out. People look at the Andy Ruiz fight and they think there’s a weak link there in AJ. I think he’s going to show you something very different this year. He’s ready to put on a real performance at Spurs."