Joshua Ends The Brave Challenge Of Pulev In 9 Rounds
It was a fight that very few wanted, a mandated obligation in the way of bigger things to come, but it gave us far more than anyone could reasonably have expected.
Anthony Joshua is still the unified heavyweight champion of the world, but only after an incredibly brave challenge from Kubrat Pulev.
Pulev showed heart, desire and a chin to respect before he finally crumbled under the weight of the champion’s punches.
Tentative and fearful a year ago in Saudi Arabia, Joshua showed far more against Pulev. The fight was nearly over in the 3rd, Pulev received two counts, and Joshua looked on the verge and set for an early night.
But Pulev smiled and carried on regardless, the chin stood up and Pulev not only survived but his own right hand was thrown more frequently looking for the money punch that sadly for him never came.
Joshua looked full of confidence, if distracted at times by the mind games of the Bulgarian. The jab was the key, staving off the forward march of the challenger. The uppercut always looked the danger punch, the likely weapon to end the fight. Pulev wasn’t winning rounds but he made it interesting.
Just when it looked that Pulev could possibly stay the course, Joshua found the punches he needed. A series of uppercuts started the beginning of the end, once Pulev found the strength to rise, a big right hand ended the brave challenge.
Pulev did better than expected and played his part in a hugely entertaining fight that saved the night after a series of forgettable fights on the undercard.
Joshua did his job tonight, now we need the money men to do theirs. There can be no more excuses, all parties need to find a way to get Joshua and Tyson Fury to share a ring. The fight is too big to waste in a room where compromise is a dirty word. Protecting the golden ticket looking to squeeze a little more should be left to one side, just for once boxing needs to do the right thing.
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing