Heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev does not believe Anthony Joshua has mentally recovered from his knockout loss at the hands of Andy Ruiz.
Back in June of 2019, Joshua was dropped four times and stopped in the seventh round.
Joshua got revenge in December, regaining his WBA, IBO, WBO, IBF world titles with a dominant twelve round decision over Ruiz.
But in the rematch, it was a different Joshua. He stayed at a distance, he was cautious, and simply boxed to victory - despite Ruiz entering the ring in very poor shape.
Pulev was originally set to fight Joshua in 2017, but suffered an injury in training. After he withdrew, Carlos Takam stepped in as a late replacement.
"To be honest, I'm a bit upset that I didn't get the chance to face him back then. Unfortunately, I was recovering from an injury which stopped me from fighting him. That was God's will. Now the time has finally come and I'm stronger - this way my victory will be even sweeter," Pulev told Sky Sports.
He expects Joshua still have mental doubts when they collide.
"I don't think [Joshua has recovered mentally]. Mentality is something you were born with, you have it inside you. Also, being mentally strong is a skill you have to work on from a very young age. It all begins with the family a kid grows up in and then you strengthen your mentality as an adult," Pulev said.
"Joshua's mentality, meanwhile, is a whole lot different and it was just a matter of time for him to lose."
Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn is confident of victory, with Pulev claiming the British promoter has been attempting to steer his boxer away from this fight.
After the fight with Joshua, the Bulgarian boxer will target WBC champion Tyson Fury. Both Pulev and Fury are promoted by Top Rank.
"I'm more than convinced that I'm capable of [beating Joshua]. No matter how much Eddie Hearn tries to manoeuvre things and play his little games, I will come up against Joshua and I will beat him! It's written in the stars," Pulev said.
"I'm looking forward to a Fury fight as well. Having said that, I'll be happy to face him after I beat Joshua. Fighting with Fury would be a great challenge for me and it would also bring me a great amount of pleasure."