'The Panel' give their views on the outcome of Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev world title fight
The SSE Arena in Wembley plays host to the Heavyweight World Title clash between unified champion Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) and IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs), live on Sky Sports Box Office.
BBN's trusted 'Panel' gave their predictions:
"I predict Joshua will be trying to make a statement, make it scrappy for a round or so, but then will settle down to his boxing and stop him in five rounds."
Heavyweight from Stockport
"Think it will be a Joshua win.
I think Pulev is a good fighter and can bang, but is past his best now. Unless Pulev catches him with a big shot then I've got Joshua winning on points, and we can finally have Joshua vs Fury - got Fury all the way with that fight."
Welterweight debutant signed to Frank Warren
"AJ will give Pulev a boxing lesson and then knock him out inside eight rounds."
Welsh Area super-lightweight champion
"I think it will be a straight forward Joshua win, and hopefully get to announce the Fury fight just after it!"
Former British champion
"It’s a tough fight for Joshua, I think it will be a boring fight. I think it will go to points, but can’t decide who will win."
"I think it will be a straight-forward win for AJ. I can see him scoring an early knockout and getting fight fans all over the world excited for a showdown with Tyson Fury in 2021.
Sometimes, AJ gets opponents that make him think and he has to take a round or two to slowly adapt to come back out on top again, but I can't see that happening here against an aging Pulev; I can only see a devastating performance ending with an early KO.
I think he's more focused, disciplined and wise since his humbling to Andy Ruiz Jr, so his mistakes will be minimal and his instinct to finish the fight as soon as possible will be clinical."
Former Southern Area champion
"My prediction is that no one gives a shit! I even forgot that he was fighting! It's Fury or nothing!"
"Prior to last years shock defeat to Andy Ruiz, there was an air of invincibility surrounding Joshua. He could box well, had an imposing frame, freakish athleticism and thudding power.
Since then, the manner in which he lost means that there will always be a doubt surrounding Joshua’s ability to absorb punishment and to remain composed under pressure.
Pulev is a seasoned campaigner with a good, powerful left hook – the sort that Ruiz troubled Joshua with.
Now there is feasibility in envisaging a shaky moment for Joshua to endure in every fight, but even if Pulev begins to ask questions of him, I expect Joshua to answer furiously.
Pulev’s upright stance provides a perfect target and at 39 I don’t think his aging body will be able to withstand too many of AJ’s bombs.
I expect Joshua to soften Pulev with his ramrod jab before landing booming straight rights that will unravel the big Bulgarian challenger by the mid-rounds.
AJ by stoppage. Roll on Joshua-Fury!"
Head of Trading at Sporting Index
“Anthony Joshua is back in the UK and although a fight against Tyson Fury seems in the offing, he’s got the small matter of taking on Kubrat Pulev, a man like Joshua who has lost just once in his professional career, first.
“Despite that, we see this is as being fairly routine for AJ and expect him to stop the Bulgarian in the seventh round of their heavyweight title bout on Saturday. We saw a different side to Joshua in his comeback victory against Andy Ruiz Jr. but we feel we might see more of his old self here and expect a stoppage to come within 22 minutes.”