Top Rank Boxing promoter Bob Arum doesn’t think it’s a given that Anthony Joshua will come out on top against Kubrat Pulev.
Joshua is set to defend his heavyweight titles against Pulev on December 12. Should he come away with the victory, “AJ” will be primed for a highly-anticipated heavyweight title unification fight with WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in 2021.
However, Arum — who promotes Pulev as well as Fury — doesn’t think it’s wise to make plans for a title unification bout just yet.
“I’m involved with everybody, including Eddie (Hearn),” Arum said on the Gary Newbon Sports Show (via talkSPORT). “I said ‘don’t make plans so quick for a Fury-Joshua fight because I think Pulev is going to beat Joshua.”
While it’s natural for a promoter to back his own fighter, Arum provided a theory as to why he feels Joshua will lose to Pulev — his rationale being how the Briton lost to Andy Ruiz Jr. last year.
“Let me explain my theory. Joshua got knocked out by Andy Ruiz, who is not a puncher, never been a puncher, and I know that because thirty odd fights that Ruiz had, we promoted,” Arum explained. “He has quick hands, he’s not a bad heavyweight, but he’s not a puncher. He devastated Joshua and knocked him out.
“Then the second fight, what happened there? Joshua ran around the ring, Ruiz had celebrated so much and gotten so obese that he couldn’t catch him and that was the fight. So I think Joshua is still vulnerable and Pulev is a real tough, rugged heavyweight.”
Pulev, 39, has won his last eight fights in a row. His only career defeat came at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko back in November 2014.
Do you agree with Arum?