Anthony Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) was able to put away IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) in the ninth round to defend his WBO, IBF, and WBA heavyweight titles in front of 1,000 very loud and enthusiastic fans at The SSE Arena in London, England. Joshua floored Pulev twice in round three and from there the fight did get a bit ugly, in large part due to Pulev’s incessant and largely unpunished rabbit punching.
Joshua’s jab was put to good use throughout the evening, but it was his vicious power punching ability that sealed the deal. Huge uppercuts from AJ in the ninth had Pulev on skates and eventually down. Pulev beat the count, but he wouldn’t on the ensuing right hand that had him sprawling on the canvas. The referee, who didn’t need to count to ten, counted anyway and that was that.
How ‘bout we see Joshua vs. Tyson Fury in 2021? I imagine that’s at the top of the list for mega-fights to make next year, pending the financial aspects of everything given the state of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch the highlights below courtesy of DAZN.
Anthony Joshua knocks down Pulev pic.twitter.com/ZgFnJ4SG4F— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) December 12, 2020
Anthony Joshua literally hit Pulev with four straight uppercuts. pic.twitter.com/bF6Jecayst— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) December 12, 2020
The ringside angle of Anthony Joshua's KO pic.twitter.com/uEySR3McnJ— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) December 12, 2020
Round 9 - Pulev charging forward and misses on the right hand. Short jab by Joshua. Big left by Joshua. Snapping left hook by Joshua. Pulev trying to land a haymaker but he just can’t. Four uppercuts by Joshua and Pulev takes them all. They’re jawing at each other after Joshua holds Pulev’s head. There’s another uppercut and Pulev is rocked and he’s down for a third time. He beats the count but Pulev surely doesn’t have much left. Big right hand, down again and surely it’s over! Ref is counting but he won’t make it. There’s the knockout for AJ!
Official result: Anthony Joshua def. Kubrat Pulev by KO, 2:58 of Round 9 to remain WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight champion