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Anthony Joshua KOs Kubrat Pulev in London

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  • Anthony Joshua KOs Kubrat Pulev in London

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    By David a. Avila

    In front of actual fans the real Anthony Joshua showed up and uppercut his way to victory by knockout over Bulgaria’s Kubrat Kulev on Saturday.

    “I stuck to what I do best,” said Joshua.

    Around 1,000 fans saw Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) decisively knock down the sturdy Pulev (28-2, 14 KOs) numerous times before finally ending the fight at Wembley Arena, in London, England. Joshua retains the IBF, WBO and WBA heavyweight world titles.

    Now, only fellow Englishman Tyson Fury holds a claim as the king of the division with the WBC belt.

    But on this night, Joshua showed the aggressive and formidable style that led many to tab him as the best heavyweight in the world. Not the fighter who jabbed and moved around the ring against Andy Ruiz a year ago.

    It was a display of a true heavyweight power puncher.

    Pulev had only lost to former champion Wladimir Klitschko many years ago. A rough start against Joshua in the third round saw him go down twice. He also escaped a near stoppage in that round for turning his back, but he survived.

    Joshua was pinpoint with his jab and fluid with his combinations. To see a large heavyweight with that kind of speed and power was impressive.

    Yet, Pulev managed to hang around and looked to use his power right hand to turn things around. But while trying to land that right, he was open for the uppercut and Joshua was not timid about using it.

    “Boxing is about less talk more action,” Joshua said.

    After a strong third round the next several rounds saw Joshua trying to connect with another big bomb and holding on the inside. It was a tactic he used often.

    In the ninth round Joshua connected with some stiff jabs and then erupted with three successive right uppercuts that snapped Pulev’s head back. Another right uppercut sent the Bulgarian fighter to the mat. He got up and after a few seconds Joshua feigned another left jab and rocketed a right cross that delivered Pulev down for good at 2:45 of the round. The referee counted to 10.

    Now, it seems a showdown between the two British heavyweights is about to take place.

    “It’s all about the legacy and the belt. if that means Tyson Fury let it be Tyson Fury,” said Joshua. “I know who I am, I’m ready to fight. Whoever is next. I’m a warrior.”

    His promoter Eddie Hearn said a Fury and Joshua fight makes sense.

    “Starting from tomorrow that’s the only fight we want to make,” said Hearn.

    Other Bouts

    It took about five minutes for Lawrence “The Sauce” Okolie (15-0, 12 KOs) to eliminate five-day replacement Nikodem Jezewski (19-1-1) by knockout and win the vacant WBO cruiserweight world title.

    Okolie floored Jezewski with a body shot immediately in the first minute of the title fight. He then caught the Polish fighter with another right to the temple that staggered the late replacement. Another counter right cross dropped Jezewski who managed to get up and continue.

    But Jezewski could not escape in the second round when Okolie fired a right cross through his guard and down went the Polish fighter for good. Referee Bill Edwards stopped the fight at 1:45 of the second round to give Okolie the WBO cruiserweight world title.

    “That is another undefeated fighter that I got rid of today,” said Okolie of his victory over Jezewski, a late replacement for another Polish fighter Krzysztof Glowacki who tested positive for the coronavirus. “When they try to box, that’s what happens to them.”

    Matchroom Boxing Promoter Eddie Hearn said the original foe will get his turn.

    “(Okalie) was supposed to fight Glowacki but he will do the same to him,” said promoter Hearn. “Lawrence Okolie is the biggest punching cruiser.”

    Hughie Fury (25-3) out-hustled Poland’s Mariusz Wach (36-7) to win by unanimous decision in a rough and tumble heavyweight fight that saw numerous head collisions and punches behind the head and kidneys.

    I guess that’s London style officiating.

    Neither heavyweight was ever hurt but Fury was the busier fighter and utilized a steady jab from both the conventional and unorthodox stance. Two judges scored it 100-90 and a third 99-91 all for Fury, the cousin of WBC heavyweight titlist Tyson Fury.

    Martin Bakole (16-1, 12 KOs) out-battled Sergey Kuzmin (15-2, 11 KOs) to win a regional heavyweight title by unanimous decision after 10 rounds.

    Both heavyweights had their moments. Bakole used a long left jab and riveting rights to score early and often. But Kuzmin was able to connect with solid blows of his own midway through the fight. The judges scored it 98-92, 97-93, 96-94 all for Bakole.

    “This was big a fight. I was hoping to go for a knockout, but this was a tough guy,” said Bakole, a native of Democratic Republic of Congo. “Now I’m ready for anybody.”

    Kieron Conway (16-1-1) floored Macaulay McGowan (14-2-1) and won every round to win the middleweight fight by unanimous decision after 10 rounds.

    A Conway left uppercut put McGowan down in the ninth round and the taller middleweight was the busier fighter. Two judges scored it 100-89 and a third 100-90 for Conway.

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Very enjoyable fight. AJ is back. The ref was terrible as he allowed too many rabbit punches by Pulev. Again, as I do on all of my DAZN fights, I used the mute button. Makes things much better.