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On This Day in 2020 – Anthony Joshua beats Kubrat Pulev to retain four titles


Anthony Joshua retained his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles with a ninth-round stoppage of Kubrat Pulev in London on this day in 2020.

In the ring for the first time in 12 months after reclaiming his belts from Andy Ruiz Jr, rustiness was one of many potential problems for Joshua but he proved too strong for Pulev.

The Bulgarian showed admirable durability to get off the deck three times, but eventually slumped to defeat following a lethal left-right combination from Joshua, who improved to 24-1.

“I started this game in 2013, I have been chasing all the belts, I’ve been dealing with mandatories, so of course I want a challenge,” Joshua told the fans inside Wembley’s SSE Arena.

“For me I stuck to what I know best: boxing, looking at where I am going to put my shots and putting them together. When they are successful, they are successful, but like I said it is less talk, more action.”

Joshua’s uppercut did the most damage to Pulev and on more than one occasion made him topple like the blocks of the Jenga game he had spent much of his time playing at Matchroom’s bio-secure bubble at the Hilton Hotel in the build-up to the fight.

Pulev hit the deck twice in the third round and again in the ninth before Joshua landed the knockout punch with a slick combination.

It was Joshua’s 22nd knockout from 25 bouts, but there was also an added maturity to his display in London.

He could have gone for the kill and overcommitted in the middle rounds after an explosive third, but stayed patient and eventually his chance came with Pulev barely able to register a legitimate punch in the contest.

After the fight, all the chat was about the prospect of a ‘Battle of Britain’ against WBC title holder Tyson Fury as, not for the first or last time, both camps talked of their desire to make the fight happen, although no such bout has yet been staged.



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