This Saturday, WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight Champion of the World Anthony Joshua, will put his belts on the line against 29-1 challenger Kubrat Pulev. It will be the 25th fight of his professional career, and his first defence since winning the belts back from Andy Ruiz Jr. last year. Here's everything you need to know about the heavyweight clash.
Who is Kubrat Pulev?
39-year-old Bulgarian heavyweight Kubrat Pulev is the Mandatory challenger for AJ's IBF title. He is 29-1 in his professional career, with his only loss coming via fifth-round KO against Wladimir Klitschko back in 2014. Since then, Pulev has remained unbeaten, racking up eight consecutive wins including a split decision against Derek Chisora and a unanimous decision against Hughie Fury.
Despite an impressive record, Pulev has had just the one world title shot (against Klitschko), and at 39 years old the question now is whether he has enough left in the tank to pose a legitimate threat to Joshua.
Keys to victory
With just 14 KO's in his 28 wins, Pulev isn't a one-punch knockout artist. For him, the key to victory will be in establishing the jab to offset Joshua and prevent him from setting his feet. However, he'll also need to get AJ's respect - if he can do that AJ might be reluctant to come forward and try to blast him out of there, allowing Pulev the chance to win the boxing match over the distance.
For AJ, who we know has knockout power, we'd like to see him stamp his authority on the fight. As mentioned previously; if he gives Pulev too much respect, it allows the challenger the opportunity to win a boxing match. That isn't to say AJ can be reckless - Pulev has quick hands for a heavyweight and while not a big puncher, we that know AJ can be rocked. At the same time, though, he shouldn't be overly cautious - he carries far more explosive power than Pulev, and he needs to make that tell. The AJ who beat Klitschko should have no problem dispatching of Pulev. But the more cautious AJ who went the distance with Joseph Parker might be in for a long night.
Time, date, and how to watch
The fight takes place on Saturday 12 December
live from The SSE Arena, London, England. Coverage will begin at 19:00 GMT
, with ring walks for the main event likely to take place around 22:30 GMT
For UK viewers, the event will be available on Sky Sports Box Office for a PPV price of £24.95. Elsewhere in the world, you can view the event via the DAZN streaming platform.
Will fans be in attendance?
Yes. 1000 tickets have been sold for the event, making it Matchroom's first event with a live audience since Lockdown began back in March.
Who is fighting on the Joshua-Pulev undercard?
Lawrence Okolie vs Nikodem Jezewski
12 rounds at Cruiserweight
Hughie Fury vs Mariusz Wach
10 rounds at heavyweight
Martin Bakole vs Sergey Kuzmin
10 rounds at heavyweight
Qais Ashfaq vs Ashley Lane
8 rounds at super-bantamweight
Florian Marku vs Alex Fearon
8 rounds at welterweight
Kieran Conway vs Macaulay McGowan
10 rounds at super-welterweight