Anthony Joshua will return to the ring on Saturday night when he defends his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles against his mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. The fight takes place at the Wembley Arena in London and will be streamed in the United States on DAZN and broadcast in the United Kingdom by Sky Sports pay-per-view.
This will be the first fight of the year for both Joshua and Pulev. The fight has been delayed on multiple occasions because of the ongoing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
Former Joshua foe Joseph Parker has also seen his schedule get delayed but for a different reason. He was supposed to face domestic rival Junior Fa on December 11th in New Zealand but the fight was pushed back to late February or early March because of an illness that caused Fa to need surgery.
Joshua and Parker squared off on March 31, 2018 in a fight that Joshua won by unanimous decision. With the victory he handed Parker his first career defeat and captured the WBO title.
With talks of a potential 2 fight series in 2021 between Joshua and WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury that would produce an undisputed champion, Parker's trainer Kevin Barry believes that Pulev is the best possible opponent for Joshua at this moment in time.
"I believe that this is the perfect fight and the perfect style for Joshua to look great against. At 39, Pulev is one of the elder statesman of the heavyweight division and doesn’t possess the power or work rate to trouble Anthony Joshua. He is methodical in his offense but has durability, " Barry told BoxingScene.com.
"Pulev has shown in winning 3 of his last 4 fights by points that he doesn’t have the knockout power to put Joshua into a defensive pattern. With the two-fight Tyson Fury deal on the table, Joshua will be looking to control Pulev on the outside while hitting him clean and often until the knockout comes."
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