Kubrat Pulev says Anthony Joshua is “afraid” of fighting him outside the UK and will dethrone him “brutally” when the pair eventually meet inside the ring.
Bulgarian Pulev, who turned 39 earlier this week, is the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight titles and had been due to face the Brit at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.
That date was postponed because of the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fighters are now waiting to find out when the bout can be rescheduled. There has even been talk of Pulev being asked to step aside to allow Joshua to move on immediately to a blockbusting all-British unification match with WBC and Ring magazine king Tyson Fury.
But Pulev apparently has no wish to give up his right to challenge for the title, and told Sky Sports: “I’m way more precise than him as well as a much smarter boxer. And I will beat him. Brutally.”
Joshua vs Pulev, as already detailed, was set to take place in London and Pulev believes Joshua is scared to venture outside his homeland for this one.
“There’s no such thing as an ideal location for a true fighter. He can fight everywhere and he’s not worried about anything,” he claimed.
“Picking a certain destination is for cowards. For those who prefer to talk a lot rather than act. I can think of at least two others who fit this description and who have refused to come to Sofia to face me – Dillian Whyte and Jarrell Miller.”
Pulev says he can think of only one reason why Joshua would want the safety blanket of fighting in his home country – fear.
“I think it is obvious – because he’s afraid. I don’t see any other reason. Why should it be in London? Why the fight can’t take place in any other place? You answer this. We offered various destinations – from Istanbul to Las Vegas, New York or Saudi Arabia. And then I got the reply that Joshua would come up against me only in London. Otherwise there would be no fight at all. And of course, I agreed to this condition.
“I’m not concerned about the place. For example, I never asked for the fight to be in Sofia. From day one I wanted it to take place at a neutral venue as this would be fair to both sides.”