Best Boxing Odds For Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev Fight

December 8, 2020 by Ryan Knuppel

World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is set to return to the ring on Saturday, December 12 at the Wembley Arena where he will put his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles on the line against a Bulgarian boxing veteran Kubrat Pulev.

It will mark Joshua’s first fight since he won back his three heavyweight world titles from Andy Ruiz Jr. last December in a fight that would help the Brit re-establish himself as one of the biggest names in the heavyweight category.

With IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO versions of the heavyweight world titles under his belt, only the WBC champion Tyson Fury stands in Joshua’s path to complete dominance of the division.

This means that if Joshua comes out of this fight victorious and prove he is back to his best form, we could be in for the long-awaited bout between Fury and Joshua for the title of undisputed champion sometime in 2021.

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A fight in the making for three years

The clash between Joshua and Pulev was in the making for over three years after it was first said to take place in late 2017. A reported 70,000 tickets had been sold for the event, which set the fight up to have the largest indoor attendance in history – surpassing the Muhammad Ali vs. Leon Spinks rematch in 1978, which featured 63,000 spectators. Unfortunately, the plans fell through after Paulev sustained an injury during training.

Initially, the 2020 world title fight was slated to take place in June, earlier this year, but got postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless, the brawl is now confirmed for the second week of December although with a limited attendance of max 1,000 fans.

BOXING STARZ

 

Things to Watch For

* Odds have been provided by 888sport and are accurate as of 08/12/2019

Anthony Joshua (23-1-0)

Current Odds: 1/12 (1.08)

The two-time world champion was last seen in the ring 12 months ago when he re-claimed his four titles in a unanimous points decision win over Andy Ruiz Jr., who floored the Brit at Madison Square Garden, thus handed Joshua his first loss in his 24-fight career.

Although a remarkable performance from Ruiz Jr. it was just one of three fights in AJ’s career in which he has not won via stoppage. This only goes to show that while Joshua is no longer unbeatable, he is still one of the best finishers in the sport, largely thanks to his remarkable KO power.

Excluding the Ruiz Jr. fight, Joshua is known for his ability to sense the opportunity to end fights very early. Not only has he earned 21 of his 23 victories by KO or TKO, but 16 of those 21 have come in the first six rounds. What’s more, the 31-year-old has boxed 103 rounds in his career, meaning his fights last only 4.3 rounds on average.

Kubrat Pulev (28-1-0)

Current Odds: 6/1 (7.00)

Like Joshua, Pulev has only one defeat on his professional record, and even that came when he faced Wladimir Klitschko in his prime, so it’s fair to value his record just as high as that of AJ. Regardless, there are many factors that work against him.

While Joshua boasts a 91% KO rate, only 14 of Pulev’s fights ended in knockouts, averaging his knock-out ratio at 50%. Additionally, Pulev has boxed a total of 203 rounds in his career, meaning his average fight last for seven rounds.

Kubrat Pulev‘s fighting style is far more calculated than some of Joshua’s previous opponents, namely Andy Ruiz Jr. which seems more like a handicap rather and an advantage. Even though Pulev is very successful when it comes to outboxing his opponents and winning by points, this might not be the best approach when facing Joshua.

For Pulev to have a better chance of winning, a more aggressive approach could benefit him, however, he does not have the one-punch knockout power of AJ. That effectively means Pulev will likely keep with his style, try to force a boring fight and win by points rather than going all-out in hopes for a stoppage win.

Prediction

Pulev has been very public about his confidence in beating Joshua and perhaps his confidence level escalated to a new level since the Brit lost to Andy Ruiz Jr. But when it comes to mental advantages, there is definitely something to be said about the venue of the fight, which should help Joshua be more relaxed.

One thing working in Pulev’s favor is that all of his last four fights went the distance, albeit it’s worth noting those were against inferior and much less dangerous opponents than Joshua. Additionally, Pulev’s speed is nowhere near that of Ruiz so it’s fair to say his chances to upset the Londoner are far slimmer.

If Pulev keeps at his style, we might see a slightly longer flight, but even if he manages to keep Joshua in the ring for a while longer, there is nothing that would suggest Pulev is a serious threat to take down the champion. Bookmakers have Joshua priced at around 1.33 to win by KO/TKO/DQ which is a fair price, but there is a better market to explore.

After his first loss against Ruiz, Joshua entered the rematch with a far more controlled approach which suggests he might not want to risk it all with a super-aggressive style here either. This makes betting on Joshua to finish the job in rounds 7-9 at an excellent bet as well at around 4.00.

Ryan Knuppel Author

Ryan (aka Knup) has been writing sports betting content for over a decade now. He covers anything and everything related to United Stats sports including football, basketball, baseball, golf and more. He has finished first place in several gambling related contests over the years which gives him instant credibility in the betting world. Ryan is a die-hard St. Louis...

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