SSE Arena, Wembley – In a fight for the WBO, IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight world titles, Anthony Joshua (24-1-0, 22 KOs) knocked down his mandatory challenger, Kubrat Pulev (28-2-0, 14 KOs), four times before winning by knockout, 9th round.
The two fighters started the fight by throwing jabs to the body and head. It was a jab battle for most of the fight, with Joshua having a certain advantage inaccuracy due to his reach and speed.
Pulev, however, managed to get Joshua to box a little on the defensive. But Joshua proved to be comfortable boxing like this, voluntarily letting Pulev move forward to counter him.
Joshua started to find his rhythm as well as his timing as the seconds ticked by.
Joshua continued to effectively use his jab at 3rd round. The British superstar shook Pulev by carrying a compact right hand to then follow up with a series of punches including a hard-hitting uppercut, and while Pulev in trouble turned his back on him, he received a first “count of 8 standing” of the referee.
As soon as hostilities resumed, Joshua rushed on Pulev, wanting to make the Bulgarian arrogance pay. Pulev then joined the canvas hit by a flurry of blows including an uppercut. He was, however, able to stand up and survive until the bell rang.
In the 4 th round, Joshua controlled the action with his jab, while Pulev was more passive in this assault to recover.
Pulev was able to do a little better in the 5th commitment, with Joshua who controlled the tempo with his jab. The same pattern continued in the 6th and 7th recovery.
Pulev applied a lot of pressure, the 8th assault; the only round where the Bulgarian had the advantage as Joshua contented himself with carefully throwing jabs to the body.
In the 9th round, Joshua immediately regained control of the clash and began to reach more often Pulev .
His jab hit the target profusely in the body and head, and Joshua finally registered the third knockdown by carrying a series of short-range uppercuts.
Pulev had not fully recovered when he got up. A right hand dispatched Pulev to the canvas for the fourth time, and this time Pulev couldn’t beat the count of 10.