Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev Boxing Picks, Odds, Predictions - 12/12/20
2020-12-12 23:30:00 EDT
Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev fight Saturday at Wembley Arena for the World Boxing Association Super World Heavy Title.
Anthony Joshua enters this fight with a 23-1 record that includes 21 knockouts. Joshua has won five of his last six fights, and he’s coming off a December (2019) win over Andy Ruiz Jr. Joshua redeemed himself in the rematch, using his size to his advantage and looking far more confident. Ruiz didn’t help himself looking sloppy in terms of shape, but Joshua did what he had to do and now returns home where he hasn’t lost a fight. Joshua is 31 years old, stands at 6’6”, has an 82-inch reach and an orthodox stance. Joshua has the footwork, movement and hand speed that separates him from a lot of this division. While everybody at heavyweight has power, Joshua is extremely fluid with his movement and puts combinations together with surprisingly quick hands. Joshua has great technique, doesn’t take a beating and picks his spots smartly rather than loading up and going for the knockout when it’s not there. Joshua is very disciplined and usually takes full advantage when that opening is created. However, even before the loss to Ruiz, Joshua has had some questionable showings and it has raised a few eyebrows for those who considered him the best in the world. Maybe the time off helps Joshua regroup and put together another run. This will be Joshua’s 19th career fight in England, his birthplace.
Kubrat Pulev enters this fight with a 28-1 record that includes 14 knockouts. Pulev has won each of his last eight fights, and he’s coming off a November (2019) win over Rydell Booker. Pulev still hasn’t lost since his brutal knockout loss to Wladimir Klitschko over five years ago, and he’s shown that he still has decent cardio for his age, winning three of his last four bouts by decision. Pulev now looks to prove age is nothing but a number and get the biggest win of his career. Pulev is 39 years old, stands at 6’4”, has a 79-inch reach and an orthodox stance. Pulev doesn’t have the hand speed he had many years ago, but he still packs a punch and is as aggressive as he’s been his whole career. Pulev doesn’t mind trading shots and has never been the best defensive fighter in the world. Pulev keeps his hands high and looks to land an overhand right, but his odd setup leaves opening for counters, and he takes a lot more damage than he should. It’s no coincidence Pulev ate some ridiculously powerful shots in his bout against Klitschko, and opponents are going to have openings when fighting him. This will be Pulev’s first career fight in England.
Pulev is a champion boxer who has seen it all and is going to go in here thinking he can win. Joshua also hasn’t been overly impressive in his last four or five fights and his stock has dropped considerably for most. The problem is Joshua is back in England where he’s most comfortable, he has a serious size advantage in this fight and he’s fighting a guy who is way past his prime and has defensive flaws. Joshua has also had time to clear his mind with COVID-19 forcing him to take a break outside of the ring. Pulev has zero chance to win this fight if he keeps his hands high and his face exposed. Joshua is going to pick him apart and lineup a clean shot that likely stops the fight. There’s no reason for Joshua not to win this fight by knockout.
Give me Joshua in a finish to lower the expensive ML price.