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Manager: Kubrat Pulev won’t repeat Ruiz mistakes against Anthony Joshua

The mandatory title fight is still being worked on for the fall.

Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev Press Conference - Principality Stadium Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Kubrat Pulev’s manager Ivaylo Gotsev is still hard at work trying to get a date and location for the mandatory fight with WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua, as are the other parties involved, and Gotsev is of course predicting victory — and then victory in a rematch.

From Sky Sports:

“Yeah, we’ll give it to him, just like he did with Ruiz, but I can assure one thing: Kubrat is going to be ready for the rematch, as well. He’s not going to let himself go like Ruiz did, for whatever reasons. ... AJ did not impress in his last performance. The first fight against Ruiz he looked like a deer in the headlights and the second one he ran like a deer. They know this is a serious fight and quite honestly, Kubrat seems to think that AJ is very afraid of him and that’s why it’s taking so long. I happen to agree.”

Pulev indeed told our own Lewis Watson a couple of weeks ago that he feels Joshua is scared of him.

“There are two options. You either fight or vacate the title,” Pulev said then. “I realize that he is really scared of me. It seems like he is scared, and that’s why he’s trying to postpone or cancel the match.”

Pulev (28-1, 14 KO) is the IBF mandatory challenger, a status he’s held since an Oct. 2018 win over Hughie Fury. He fought twice in 2019, staying busy against Bogdan Dinu and Rydell Booker, keeping himself sharp but not taking real risks against top opposition.

The fight with Joshua was originally planned for June 20 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, and since then, Croatia has been mentioned as a possible destination, while Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing are dedicated to trying to keep the fight in the UK with a small, paying audience later this year.

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