Kubrat Pulev has pledged to dethrone Anthony Joshua three years after the pair were first due to fight.
A shoulder injury denied Pulev the opportunity just 10 days out from their meeting in Cardiff in 2017, and he said he has spent the past three years plotting how to derail the heavyweight champion.
Ahead of Joshua’s first defence of his WBA, IBF and WBO titles since beating Andy Ruiz Jr, Pulev said: “I’m ready to fight because we spent a long time waiting for this fight.
“I believed this fight would come one day. I’m here now and I’m ready to fight good and to win. I think Saturday night, I take the win.”
Joshua had previously said that Pulev’s chance had come three years too late, not because of his age – the Bulgarian is 39 – but because of his own increased experience both in terms of fights but also training camps.
As for the suggestion his best chance to become heavyweight champion had gone, Pulev added: “I understand what you mean. In 2017, I was 36, I was younger but I had this problem from sparring.
“Now I’m healthy. I’m not 22 years old, I don’t have time of course but I’m ready and here and happy that this fight is happening now. I’m ready for the fight, I’m ready for the win.”
Saturday night at Wembley’s SSE Arena is the pair’s first fight for over a year and Joshua warned he had progressed significantly because of the difficulties of last year when he lost his belts to Ruiz before regaining them six months on.
“The pressure that I went through last year made me stronger mentally,” he said, adding: “I grew a thicker skin. A little loss to Ruiz is not enough to change me.”