Anthony Joshua warned Kubrat Pulev he will face a “real one” in Saturday’s world title fight as the pair exchanged heated words at Friday’s weigh-in.
Pulev, 39, goaded Joshua as the unified world heavyweight champion took to the scales, drawing an animated reaction.
The pair stood face to face – Pulev shouting, and Joshua waving his finger – with security keen to intervene.
“I would have just clapped him in his jaw there and then, but I have to wait until tomorrow,” Joshua, 31, said.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the British boxer said he could not repeat what he said to Pulev on television, adding: “Many years I’ve been in boxing and seen a lot fighters talk a lot of rubbish, then they get smacked up.
“I know what he’s like, I have studied him. He thinks he’s a warrior. I said ‘don’t let the guys you’ve fought gas you up, you’re in with a real one now’.
“When people come in the ring with me they are confident and then after a few rounds their soul gets destroyed. When I see that I can take them out.”
Bulgarian Pulev weighed in at 239.7lbs – a 9lbs drop from his last fight – while Joshua was 4lbs heavier than when he faced Andy Ruiz Jr in December 2019, scaling 240.8lbs.
Pulev, who will challenge for Joshua’s IBF, WBA and WBO world titles, said: “I told him I respect him so much but I’m a better boxer and tomorrow I’ll show him.
“I think he didn’t like that. But times change, no-one can stay the same. He is world champion now, the last day for him. I don’t hate him, I tell him I respect him. But I have so much energy, I’m so powerful and I’m hungry.”
Joshua knows a win could pave the way for a bout with fellow Briton Tyson Fury, where all four world heavyweight titles could be contested for the first time in history.
Around 1,000 fans will watch his fight with Pulev at Wembley Arena, where BBC Radio 5 Live will be at ringside to provide full commentary.
- Stephen Appiah excludes Asamoah Gyan from his list of best Ghanaian players
- We will not allow any religious group to plunge Ghana into chaos – Muntaka
- CID probes 53 schools over alleged corruption in school feeding programme
- Kwabena Agyepong’s NPP membership re-instated
- Virologist warns of third wave of Covid-19 in Ghana
- #NSMQ2021: Mfantsiman Girls SHS dumped for the third time in a row at regional championships
- Manu, who delayed Ghana’s 4x100m baton, had never received a baton before – Coach
- Family sues Daasebre Oti Boateng for failing to replace a statue he destroyed
- Students of Takoradi Technical University reject certificate
- Customs driver jailed for selling official vehicle
Italian woman accidentally given six shots of Covid-19 vaccine
Drake is Billboard’s Artist of the Decade, will receive honor at 2021 Billboard Music Awards
We’ll work for food security reserves – ECOWAS
Pandemic could lead to more child obesity, WHO Europe office warns
French court fines, sentences Oppong Weah’s son for reckless partying
Salifu Ibrahim not being swayed by man of the match awards
SYND-Ghana backs Lands Ministry’s fight against exploitation of forest reserves
‘I left home so I can take care of my family,’ – A ‘kayayo’ on why she is on the streets
Make a deliberate effort to own a copy of the 1992 Constitution – NCCE
Parliament to reconvene on May 25 to commence second meeting
Dr Mavis Owureku Asare: Wesley Girls’ no fast policy is not about religion
NSMQ 2021: Tamasco and 3 others secure tickets to Accra on day one of Northern Regional qualifiers
Former British High Commissioner to Ghana, Craig Murray jailed for contempt in the UK
Even though it hurts to see you with her, I’m genuinely happy for you
To my ex-lover that I can’t move on from