Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn thinks Anthony Joshua should be getting back to his knockout form when the Londoner battles Kubrat Pulev this year.
The fight, currently scheduled for June 20 but not certain due to coronavirus, is a return home for the two-time heavyweight champion.
Joshua lost his belts when humbled by Andy Ruiz Jr. in June 2019. AJ won them back with a boxing performance in the rematch.
But Hearn wants that style of fighting to change back to the original formula that saw Joshua was one of the most feared KO punchers in the sport.
Hearn has told William Hill that Joshua’s critics can expect a ‘different AJ this year’ as he prepares to face Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.
“Anthony had a great year last year in many ways. He fought in Madison Square Garden in New York. Then in Saudi Arabia. But now he’s back at Spurs on June 20 in a great stadium”, Hearn told William Hill.
“It’s going to be an instant sell-out. It’s great to see him back. 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. 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.”
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Recent times have put a question mark on the current date for Joshua vs Pulev. Fears over the spread of COVID-19 are putting all fights on the delay board.
Joshua vs Pulev is no different as scientists have predicted that the disease will reach its peak around the same time.
Worst case scenario could see Joshua fight just once in 2020 and delay a UK blockbuster with Tyson Fury until at least 2021.
Fury has Deontay Wilder to deal with again first and may even have to put those trilogy plans on hold.
July has been earmarked thus far, but with boxing’s whole schedule set to be pushed back, Fury vs Wilder III could also suffer.