By Mark Elezaj
Anthony Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) stepped in the ring, outboxed Kubrat Pulev (28-2, 14 KOs) leading up to a spectacular one-punch knockout in the ninth round Saturday night in front of a very small crowd of 1,000 fans at the SSE Arena in London, UK.
In the opening round. Joshua looked somewhat cautious, but he was also sharp throughout, working off of his jab early on.
In the second round, Joshua picked up where he left off and landed a crisp four-punch combination on Pulev. Joshua continued to control the action, using his jab well to set up his power shots.
In the third round, Joshua rocked Pulev with a beautiful hook followed by an uppercut that pushed Pulev back into the ropes. Joshua continued to be the aggressor, opened up with power shots and landing clean on Pulev, who then turned his back while heading into the corner. Joshua landed another right to the body, putting him on the floor.
Pulev got back up but Joshua didn’t let up, landing a huge uppercut that sent Pulev down again.
Pulev somehow survived the round and landed a shot after the bell.
In the fourth round, Pulev landed a right hook that caught Joshuas attention. Joshua tied him up and appeared to have taken his foot off of the gas.
Pulev seemed to be more aggressive in the fifth and sixth rounds, looking to attack Joshua, who stopped throwing his jab and basically would duck and hold Pulev after he finished throwing his punches.
Joshua started the seventh round by landing a beautiful hook followed by an uppercut, but Pulev would respond and landed a big right of his own that caught Joshuas attention.
After a slow eighth round, Joshua came out throwing his jab more. He continued to land with ease, setting him up for a left hook that hurt Pulev.
Joshua jumped on his opponent, throwing 4 uppercuts in a row, one of which rocked Pulev’s head back.
Joshua continued to attack, landing big shots and hurting Pulev again, dropping him down to the mat again
Pulev got up, nodded to the referee and tried to continue on. Joshua walked in, set up his shot and landed a huge right that put Pulev down on his back for the final time.
After the fight, Joshua said that he wants the biggest fights.
This fight was billed as the “Road to Undisputed,” and that was spoken about in the post-fight interview.
“It’s not about the opponent, it’s about the legacy and the belt,” Joshua said when asked about fighting Tyson Fury next. “If that is Tyson Fury, let it be Tyson Fury. It’s no big deal.”
Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn also feels that a fight with Tyson Fury has to happen.
“We know what we have to do, starting from tomorrow, we make the Tyson Fury fight straight away,” said Hearn. “It’s the biggest fight in British boxing history.”
Hearn knows that the Usyk mandatory is also a fight that may possibly get done as well.
Joshua has a WBO mandatory fight against Oleksandr Usyk, and Joshua has stated that he has no intention of vacating his belt to fight Fury instead.
If the WBO make the Usyk fight officia, you can bet the house on it, Joshua will be facing Usyk in the spring, because Usyk has made it loud and clear that he will not step aside.
~ The Fighting Voice ~