Kubrat Pulev has courted controversy when asked about Anthony Joshua’s strengths by saying: ‘His tan is better than mine.’
Joshua is due to put his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world heavyweight titles on the line against Pulev on 12 December at the O2 Arena in London.
The pair were first due to fight in 2017, but Pulev pulled out due to injury, with the bout then scheduled for earlier this year, but it was postponed due to Covid-19.
Now they will meet in December and the build-up to the fight has taken a strange turn as Pulev referenced the colour of Joshua’s skin in a pre-fight press conference.
‘His strengths?’ Pulev said. ‘I’d say he has a very powerful punch undeniably.
‘What are his other strengths? His tan is better than mine.’
The fight with Pulev is largely seen as a stepping stone for Joshua as he looks to set up a huge unification bout with Tyson Fury next year.
Fury is also fighting in December against an as-yet unnamed opponent, and if both men win then they will meet in the first half of 2021 with every world heavyweight title on the line as the Gypsy King brings his WBC and Ring Magazine belts to the table.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is typically confident about AJ dealing with the Cobra and then the Gypsy King, becoming the undisputed world heavyweight champion.
‘I actually messaged him and I said: “You’re going to steamroll through these guys”,’ Hearn told Sky Sports last week.
‘He just replied in capitals and said: “STEAMROLL!” I think he’d love to [stop Fury]. Yeah. He knows that Fury is an outstanding fighter and it’s going to be very difficult.
‘But you can ask him for yourself, I believe he has bad intentions in those fights and I believe he expects to. I believe he will knock out Kubrat Pulev and Tyson Fury.’
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