Joshua looking ‘fantastic’ as focus remains firmly on Pulev – Hearn
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Heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua will defend the IBF, WBA and WBO titles on December 12.
Heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua will defend the IBF, WBA and WBO titles on December 12.

ANTHONY Joshua is refusing to look beyond Kubrat Pulev and will be lifted by the presence of fans when he fights the Bulgarian, says Eddie Hearn.

Heavyweight Joshua will defend the IBF, WBA and WBO titles on December 12 in what will be his first outing since regaining the belts from Andy Ruiz a year ago.

Hearn has confirmed 1 000 tickets will be available for the bill at Wembley Arena as restrictions are eased amid the coronavirus pandemic – and demand has understandably been high.

The promoter has confirmed Joshua has enjoyed a “great camp” as the 31-year-old understands what is at stake against Pulev, with a lucrative deal to fight Tyson Fury in place for 2021.

“He looks fantastic. I mean, he’s under pressure, because we’re here again, aren’t we?,” Hearn said, per Matchroom Boxing.

“Talk of the undisputed fight: and just get through Ruiz, just get through Pulev, and we know what happened last time. All of his focus is on Kubrat Pulev, so he knows it’s going to be a dangerous fight.”

As for fans being present at the venue, Hearn added: “He is lifted by the fact that there’ll be people in attendance because his whole career has been based on a huge crowd. 

“When 50 000 people are trying to get 1 000 tickets, it’s never going to be pretty, but it’s progress. And that’s important, but I feel like he’s had a great camp.

“I feel like he’s learning, improving all the time. And I feel like you’re going to get a great performance from him on December 12.”

Joshua had been due to face Pulev, his mandatory challenger with IBF, on June 20 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but the bout had to be postponed.

The pair had been scheduled to fight in 2017 but will now finally meet this month, with both having just a solitary loss on their professional records.

Pulev’s only defeat was six years ago as he was stopped by reigning world champion Wladimir Klitschko. He has won eight on the spin since, including victories over Hughie Fury and Dereck Chisora.

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