AJ’s hopes of another classic with Klitschko went up in smoke as the the Ukrainian great called time on his stellar career
ANTHONY JOSHUA admits he wanted a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko – but is now preparing to “go to war” with Kubrat Pulev.
AJ’s hopes of another classic with Klitschko went up in smoke when the the Ukrainian great called time on his stellar 21-year career last month.
It left the British star with a mandatory title defence against Bulgarian ‘Cobra’ Pulev.
AJ will be looking to make it 20 straight pro wins in the Cardiff showdown on October 28.
He said: “I was looking forward to a rematch with Klitschko but he’s retired and I wish him well.
“My journey doesn’t stop. A mandatory challenger, I didn’t want to give up any of these belts. I worked very hard to be in this position.
“It’s about finesse and outclassing your opponent. But if I need to go to war I will. But I could do it with ease as well.
“I want to show some skills but if I have to go to war in the trenches I will.
“Sometimes I feel these fighters are bringing 30 per cent more than they can imagine because they want to prove themselves.
The Watford fighter, 27, has lifted the lid on how he plans to improve in his quest to dismantle 36-year-old Pulev.
“As Wladimir was coming forward I was still in a tensed positions with my shoulders tensed. That takes up a lot of energy.
“So I need to be more relaxed against opponents when they’re putting me under pressure.
“I won’t stop reeling out the scrap book of mistakes but that’s one of them.
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“I’ve still got the challenger mind-set so when we clash I think I think it becomes a great fight. I see myself as no different from any of these other fighters.
“Kubrat Pulev has had 300 amateur fights, near enough 30- pro fights and lost one to wormer world champions Wladimir Klitschko.
“He’s talented and built himself up to world championship level. He wants what I have and I want his soul, let’s get it on.
“I’m hearing everyone call me out right now, even the taxi man on my street is calling me out. Everyone wants a piece of the action. But that’s why we can fill out arenas.
“I want respect from the old-timers. As long as they say I’m doing well, then I’m happy about that.
“The guys who led the path and paved the way are patting me on the back and I’m all for it.
“But no pressure, pressure busts pipes.”
Katie Taylor will fight for her first world title on the Joshua vs Pulev undercard, facing Anahi Sanchez for the WBA world lightweight title.
Taylor, who won Olympic gold in 2012, won her last fight in July on her American debut with a third round stoppage of Jasmine Clarkson.
He took her record to 6-0 defending her WBA female Inter-Continental lightweight title, stopping Clarkson in the third round.
? Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev – Betting tips ?
Anthony Joshua defends his heavyweight titles against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on October 28 – here’s our view on the fight…
- DIAMOND – AJ to win by KO, TKO or DQ in the First Round: “AJ is known for his devastating power and boasts an astonishing 100 per cent knockout record.” (10/1 – add to your betslip)
- NEXT BEST – Joshua to win by KO, TKO or DQ in the Seventh Round: “Pulev is experienced and may hold his own for the first half of the fight.” (8/1 – add to your betslip)
- LONG-SHOT – Pulev to win KO, TKO or DQ: “He’s a massive underdog but heavyweight fights throw up a shock every once in a while.” (12/1 – add to you betslip)
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