Anthony Joshua isn’t approaching his fight with Kubrat Pulev as some mundane mandatory title defence.
The IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion realises Pulev stands between him and the biggest British boxing match in the sport’s history, a showdown with WBC champ Tyson Fury in 2021.
England’s Joshua has prepared accordingly and predicted during an appearance Tuesday on “The Ak And Barak Show” that he’ll knock out Bulgaria’s Pulev between rounds “seven to nine” on Saturday night in London.
Joshua will defend his heavyweight crowns versus Pulev, the mandatory challenger for his IBF belt, in the main event of a seven-fight card at Wembley Arena.
“I’m just more motivated than him,” Joshua stated during a show that streams daily on DAZN and SiriusXM.
“I know that this is everything to me, this performance, this fight is.
“I feel like I’m fighting for the title, but I’m more experienced.
“I feel like – I don’t know how to explain it – I feel like I’m a challenger coming in to fight the champion.
“But I know I’ve done everything I can possible to make sure I get this win, and I’m willing to go in deep waters.
“So, whatever Pulev brings to the table, I hope I make it look easy because I’m that well prepared.
“Do you know what I mean?
“I’m just looking at it like Pulev is great.
“He’s got good balance, he’s [got] a very European style, he’s got a great jab, and he wants to be a bully.
“I’ve seen him in fights with Wladimir Klitschko, with Hughie Fury, with Rydell Booker and these guys.
“He wants to bully these guys.
“But that’s why I say like I’m a killer as well.
“Even though I’m a businessman, I’ve definitely got a killer instinct in me.”
Joshua, 31, and Pulev, 39, were first supposed to fight in October 2017 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Pulev withdrew from that bout due to a shoulder injury and Joshua stopped his late replacement, Carlos Takam, in the 10th round.
Their fight eventually was rescheduled for June 20 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, a new soccer venue in London. It was postponed multiple times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The scheduled 12-round battle between Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) and Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs).