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Joshua vs. Pulev: Preview

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On Saturday 28 October 2017, Anthony Joshua will defend his heavyweight titles against Kubrat Pulev at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

Joshua will be stepping into the ring for the first time since defeating Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium in April. The Brit will be putting his IBF, WBA and IBO titles on the line in front of 80,000 fans at the Welsh national stadium.

Pulev - a Bulgarian National - has defeated 25 of his 26 opponents, with his only loss coming against Klitschko back in 2014. Since then he has gone on a five fight winning streak, picking up the European heavyweight title on the way to becoming the mandatory challenger to Joshua’s crown.

Joshua, undefeated in 19 professional fights with all his wins coming by knockout, will go into the fight with Pulev as a heavy favourite. As the younger and naturally bigger man, many will be expecting another explosive performance from AJ.

However, Joshua was put on the floor in his last fight and at times he looked tired - something we saw in his ill-tempered fight with Dillian Whyte two years ago. Should Pulev be able to drag AJ into deep waters there could be a major upset on the cards.

The stakes are high for the champion. Beating Pulev could pave the way for a mega-fight with the American Deontay Wilder in 2018 - who currently holds the prestigious WBC heavyweight title. But a defeat would do serious damage to Joshua’s image as the dominant force in the division.

For the winner, there are plenty of options moving forwards in the heavyweight ranks. Wilder and the young Joseph Parker both hold versions of a world title, whilst Hughie Fury will be looking to get back into a big fight following his recent defeat to Parker.

Boxing fans will be salivating at the thought of a Joshua vs. Wilder fight should the champion retain his belts on October 28. But Pulev will be well aware that he has a great opportunity to blow the division wide open.

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