Kubrat Pulev has warned Anthony Joshua that his greater experience in the boxing ring will help him pull off a stunning upset when the pair meet at the Principality Stadium on October 28.
Joshua, 27, has never been beaten and will defend his WBA ‘super’ and IBF world heavyweight titles when he takes on the mandatory IBF challenger, Pulev.
Unlike Joshua, Pulev doesn’t possess a flawless professional record, having lost a previous world title fight against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014.
But that is the only blot on the Bulgarian’s record, who also enjoyed a long and successful amateur career, representing Bulgarian at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
“He has had a good career, however he hasn’t got my experience,” Pulev, who is nine years Joshua’s senior, said of his opponent.
“I started boxing when I was 12 years old. I am a lot more experienced in amateur boxing. And it is not just the ring where I am experienced. I have experience on the streets as well, which is another advantage.
“Were those experiences on the street frightening? Maybe for my opponents it was very scary, but for me it was okay.”
Pulev’s words were echoed by his promoter, Kalle Sauerland, who claimed that Joshua was still “learning on the job” and could struggle against his far more experienced opponent.
“Look at the people he has defeated – [Alexander] Dimitrenko, Tony Thompson, [Alexander] Ustinov, all guys who are at the peak of their careers when he fought them,” Sauerland said after the first Joshua vs Pulev press conference, which was held in Cardiff.
“He has fought big guys before, beaten them before, and has got a huge pedigree. He started boxing at 12.
“Anthony Joshua, great champion, but as he says himself [he’s] learning on the job. You don’t want to face a guy like Kubrat Pulev at that time.”
Meanwhile, Joshua looks set to sell out a second football stadium in successive fights after more than 60,000 spectators bought tickets for his world title defence at the 78,000-capacity Principality Stadium.
General admission tickets went on sale yesterday for prices between £40 to £500, rapidly heading towards a sell-out.