Skip to content
Home » Watch out! Kubrat Pulev is training for AJ like Rocky did for Ivan Drago

Watch out! Kubrat Pulev is training for AJ like Rocky did for Ivan Drago

Kubrat Pulev is using an unusual mountain training method as the Bulgarian brute prepares to challenge unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.

Reminiscent of Rocky Balboa training for Ivan Drago in Russia, Pulev is adopting harsh measures so that he can be in tip-top shape.

“I have been running 10km in a 50-minute range in the Pirin mountains in southwestern Bulgaria to prepare my stamina,” Pulev told Marc Gatford via the Betway Insider blog.

“I’ve also been climbing the famous ‘Tooth’ peak. It has challenging terrain and gets to around 2600m-2700m high, where the air gets very thin.

“I have also been training at a famous Belmeken Olympic Sports Complex up in the mountains.

“The Complex built for the old East German outfit looking for the best conditions anywhere in Europe.

“It’s a high-altitude base camp away from the noise of the city, a place to build the mind and the body while isolated in the mountains.

Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs), the IBF’s No.1-ranked Heavyweight Mandatory Challenger, is favored by many to end AJ’s reign for a second time.

Andy Ruiz Jr. pummeled Joshua in June 2019, and many see Pulev doing similar on December 12 at Wembley Arena.

The veteran gets his second shot at world honors after his defeat to modern legend Wladimir Klitschko in 2014. It remains the only blemish of his 29-fight professional career.

Since then, Pulev has won six fights in a row. That includes victories over Derek Chisora and an IBF Eliminator win over Hughie Fury in 2018.

Matchroom had initially set to take place at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in October 2017. Pulev was forced to withdraw through an injury.


He will now get his opportunity to ruin the champion’s plans to face Tyson Fury in an all-British blockbuster showdown in the future.

To say he’s ready is an understatement.

“AJ said he would steamroll me. Well, we bring an avalanche back down the mountain.

“Physically and mentally, I feel the best I’ve felt in my life. I feel amazing and ready. He can try his best.

“I can assure him of one thing. He may have seen some perfect opponents, but he hasn’t seen anything like me in the ring ever before.”

Joshua vs. Pulev is live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK. DAZN in the United States and over 200 other territories.

Follow us on Facebook @officialworldboxingnews and Twitter @worldboxingnews.