Kubrat Pulev has reignited the war of words with Anthony Joshua ahead of their heavyweight title showdown in December by claiming the ‘arrogant’ Brit is ‘scared’ to fight outside of London.
The Bulgarian is desperate to dethrone the unified world champion who he claims is struggling psychologically since he was handed his first defeat by Andy Ruiz last year.
Pulev has insisted that he has no problem with where he fights Joshua and is confident of handing him a second knockout defeat of his career, once they finally go toe-to-toe inside the squared-circle.
In an interview via the Betway Insider blog, Pulev said: ‘We have one heavyweight champion [Joshua] and he is too slow all the time to agree a date. We understand the world pandemic and everything but I think we can fight this year and I prepare to do this – it does not matter where, which day, I’m ready, we are training and I wait for the date.
‘December 5th is what we’ve heard and I hear London is favourite to host.
‘We think London because maybe he is scared and he wants to fight there. Normally we can fight anywhere in the world not only in London – but for me it’s no problem, I can fight anywhere. I’m ready, I’m hungry, and I know I am going to win.
‘He is a very good boxer for sure, a world champion… and he has had a lot of good fights.
‘But I see a lot of problems in his style and his boxing and I think I can use every small opening and I can beat him. I do think he has a problem with psychology.’
The pair were due to slug it out in 2017, but the Bulgarian has to withdraw from the bout with a ‘strained pectoral muscle’, leading Joshua to fight – and subsequently beat – Carlos Takam instead.
Joshua was ‘p***ed off’ that Pulev withdrew from their fight three years ago, which led the Brit to claim that he would’ve went ahead with the fight if he had sustained the same injury.
But Pulev, now fit and raring to go, claims not everything was so black and white.
When asked why the fight fell through, Pulev said: ‘I stopped training because I was injured and he didn’t believe me, he was a little bit arrogant. He said: “If I was Pulev I could box with this injury”, but it’s not so easy.
‘God showed us it’s not good to speak too much and that’s why he is now injured with his leg. I wait patiently and when he is ready and healthy, we can fight.’
While in lockdown, AJ and Tyson Fury reached an agreement over a sensational two-fight deal for 2021, with the pair hoping to unify the heavyweight division should they overcome what’s put in front of them in the meantime.
News of this mega-deal irked Pulev, who is promising to inflict a second knockout on the Watford-born heavyweight.
‘This is also very arrogant,’ Pulev says when asked about the two-fight deal. ‘Talking about Fury because he doesn’t think about my fight, like last time with Ruiz.
‘But life showed him that this is very bad when someone does that. That’s why he will take his second knockout of his life. We will show him and the whole world.
‘I’m now next in line for Fury and I think after AJ, I will fight with Tyson Fury because Joshua is going to lose and he does not think I’m a big problem – but I will show him really new things.’