Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev Betting Odds & Picks

  • Date & Location: Saturday Dec. 12 @ The O2 in London, England
  • Odds: Anthony Joshua (-1100) vs. Kubrat Pulev (+650) via Bovada
  • Prediction:  Joshua via knockout

On Saturday, December 12, Anthony Joshua returns to the ring for the first time in over a year when he faces Kubrat Pulev. Joshua, who is 23-1 with 21 knockout wins, has not fought since he went 12 rounds with Andy Ruiz Jr. on December 7, 2019. The win returned four belts, the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles, to Joshua after Ruiz defeated him by TKO in June 2019. The loss was the first and only defeat of Joshua’s career.

Pulev is on an eight-fight winning streak. His first and only defeat came in November 2014 when Wladimir Klitschko knocked him out in the fifth round. Pulev is the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s IBF belt. Pulev is coming off a November 2019 unanimous decision win over Rydell Booker.

Joshua has not fought in the United Kingdom since September 2018.

The champions WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight titles are on the line.

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JOSHUA vs. PULEV ODDS

Fighter Odds (via MyBookie)
Anthony Joshua -910
Kubrat Pulev +655

 

JOSHUA vs. PULEV PREDICTION & PICK

Joshua added some new wrinkles to his game after the loss to Ruiz and that is a move in the right direction for the 31-year-old knockout artist. He didn’t get the finish, but he didn’t need to worry about that as he outscored Ruiz 118-110 on two scorecards and 119-109 on the other.

On the other hand, Pulev is not a high output fighter. He likes to work in close and he does not have knockout power. The 39-year-old has earned 14 of his 28 wins by knockout.

Joshua should be able to get the win by knockout thanks to his power and evolution.

Pick: Joshua

BETTING VALUE WITH JOSHUA

Joshua has claimed, “I’m still very hungry and disciplined, so I want to steamroll through him.” I think the only way he fails to do that is to take the fight too lightly and underestimate his opponent. However, I think Ruiz taught Joshua that a boxer can never overlook an opponent. There’s a chance Pulev could make it the distance, but I don’t feel it’s a good one.

With that said, it’s not a bad idea to think about betting the underdog here strictly based on the odds, but I would suggest not going to heavy with that option.

 

 

WHO HAS THE EDGE?

The defending champion has the edge. This fight could go one of two ways. The first way is that Joshua just comes out throwing heavy leather and tries to put Pulev away early so he can remain healthy for his next fight. The problem with that is that Joshua could get over aggressive and put himself in a bad spot. The other way the fight could go is for Joshua to use his boxing skills to show his evolution as a full fighter in the hope of getting some good quality rounds in before he fights again.

TALE OF THE TAPE: JOSHUA vs. PULEV

Anthony Joshua Category Kubrat Pulev
27 Age 36
23-1 Record 28-1
21 Knockout Wins 14
2 Decision Wins 13
0 DQ 1
6’6″ Height 6’4.5″
82″ Reach 79.5″
Orthodox Stance Orthodox

WHAT’S AT STAKE

For Pulev, there’s a chance to win heavyweight titles and pull off a tremendous upset. The stakes are much higher for Joshua. The champ hopes to turn a victory against Pulev into a fight against the winner of a proposed Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder scrap. That fight is not booked and Wilder is taking Fury to mediation in the hopes of third matchup between them.

Trent Reinsmith

Trent covers UFC and MMA for MTS. He currently covers MMA for MMA Junkie and Forbes. He has also written for Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively among others. He has been involved with MMA since he and some friends threw some money together to purchase the pay-per-view of UFC 1, and the rest is history.