Eddie Hearn, promoter for IBF, WBA, WBO, IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, admits there is pressure on his boxer to score a knockout victory in the upcoming mandatory clash with Kubrat Pulev.
Joshua came in for a battle with Andy Ruiz in June 2019, which resulted in the British star getting dropped four times and stopped in seven.
In the December 2019 rematch in Saudi Arabia, Joshua decided to box at the distance and won an easy twelve round decision over Ruiz to reclaim his belts.
But some fans were not satisfied with the performance and want Joshua get back to his knockout ways.
Pulev's promotional team, which includes Bob Arum of Top Rank, believe Joshua is getting knocked out when the fight takes place, likely on a date in June.
Hearn expects Joshua to pursue a knockout in this fight, over a boxer who hasn't tasted defeat since 2013 when he lost to Wladimir Klitschko.
"Because of the Andy Ruiz Jr fight there is an element of 'he is beatable'," Hearn told Sky Sports.
"We've seen Joshua get beaten - just land one on the chin, or the side of the head, and anything can happen? Easier said than done. There is always fear in the heavyweight division," Hearn said. "They are bang up for it.
"One thing that Pulev has got is great activity. He's getting older but he has been nice and active. Ivaylo Gotzev is Pulev's long-term advisor, friend and hometown promoter - deluded is the wrong word but he is so close to Pulev that he believes this is their moment, their time. The stuff they saw in the Andy Ruiz Jr fight? They think they can beat Joshua.
"Then there's [his promoter] Bob Arum who is telling everyone that Pulev is going to knock Joshua out. Maybe that's just Bob Arum - 'yesterday I was lying, today I'm telling the truth' is his famous line. It's intriguing. I feel that Joshua vs Pulev is a really good fight. Two big stand-up heavyweights who can really punch. Pulev has a lot of experience and good ring IQ.
"Joshua will look to make a statement. He had to box that way against Ruiz Jr because there was no room for error but now people are saying: 'Show us the knockouts again'. The pressure is on AJ to produce a knockout. Two big men will trade shots."