British powerhouse Anthony Joshua is expecting a shootout with Kubrat Pulev on Saturday night mixed with a mental battle.
Joshua has told William Hill that Saturday’s heavyweight championship fight against Pulev will be more about mindset.
The WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion faces Pulev at Wembley Arena on Saturday night, and he acknowledges that the Bulgarian heavyweight’s experience will mean he’s in for a tough test.
“In terms of the time I’ve had off, I’ve had to toughen myself up again and get used to taking punches to the head and body and getting my hands strong again, and just getting myself prepared for a tough fight on December 12,” he said.
“Pulev’s experienced. He’s 39 now. What I’ve learned from facing experienced fighters such as Alexander Povetkin and Wladimir Klitschko is that they can still be lively. They can do a lot of damage.
“At that age, the last thing you lose as a heavyweight is your power. He’s got that power.
“I’ve noticed from the analysis that he’s dropped a few guys with the jab. He’s very balanced so if you attack him and you’re not balanced then you can fall into his range.
“I’ve got to make sure that my attacks are spot on because he’s very good at punching opponents who make mistakes.
“He’s well experienced as well and has been in there (the ring) with good fighters. He’s got two other things: good work rate, where he’s used to going 12 rounds. The last thing is he’s got a really good body shot as well.”
“We’re both physically gifted and we’re both blessed to know how to fight, take punches and give punches. All that technical stuff.
ANTHONY JOSHUA MINDSET
“But the main thing that separates us is the mindset. (It will come down to) who has got a stronger mindset, game plan? Therefore, who is willing to take more and keep going.
“That’s why this fight is interesting. Pulev’s a single jabber but might be triple jabbing this time. He might try and steamroll me in the first round.
“This is a chance to be heavyweight champion of the world. So for me, it’s another fight. But for him, it’s a chance to be world champion so I’m sure he’s taking this fight seriously.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he added.