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Joe Goosen to train Kubrat Pulev for Anthony Joshua fight

Anthony Joshua Kubrat Pulev

By Allan Fox: Kubrat Pulev will be trained by American trainer Joe Goosen for his title shot this summer against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua on June 20th. The two will be squaring off on DAZN and Sky Sports Box Office from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, in Tottenham, London, England.

Goosen has trained a lot of different guys during his career as a trainer, but a lot of them already had talent before joining up with him. Just how much improvement Goosen had on their careers is unknown. With the 38-year-old Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs), Goosen is going to need to do an entire remark of his molecular DNA to transform him into a big enough puncher to beat Joshua.

Goosen needs to improve Pulev’s power

Pulev’s lack of power could be his undoing in this fight, and it’s a bad sign that AJ is already tipping off his game plan by revealing that he’s abandoning his Wladimir Klitschko-esque style of fighting for this contest. Joshua wouldn’t be saying that if he respected Pulev’s power. Pulev is just not a puncher, and he never has been.

“I’ll be in the ring with Kubrat Pulev. I’m the new trainer,” said Goosen to PBC last Saturday night.

Goosen trained former Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for his fight against Andrzej Fonfara in April 2015. That was a fight in which Chavez Jr. quit after the ninth round.

Goosen, 66, had recently been rumored to be taking over as the new trainer for former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder to prepare him for his trilogy fight against Tyson Fury on July 18, but that’s apparently not the gave.

Goosen is a good trainer, but he’s not a magician. If Pulev isn’t able to make Joshua respect his punching power early on in their June 20 fight, he’s likely going to stop him fast. Goosen probably understands that, which is why we can expect Pulev to fight hard in the first half of the fight to give Joshua second thoughts about slugging him into submission.

It’s hard for boxing fans to get excited about Goosen being the new trainer for Joshua because they don’t see the Bulgarian heavyweight as having a chance of winning. Pulev needs more than what Goosen can give him as a trainer, and that’s punching power.

Kubrat with just one solid win in last six years

Pulev earned his IBF mandatory position the easy way in defeating the light hitting Hughie Fury by a 12 round decision in October 2018. Before that, Pulev had been Joshua’s mandatory in 2017, but he suffered an arm injury and was subsequently replaced by Carlos Takam.

This could be the final chance for Pulev to try and win world title belt, as he’s getting up there in age at 38. The IBF made it easy for Pulev to earn a title shot against Joshua by him fight Hughie, who arguably should be ranked at the bottom of the four sanctioning bodies top 15. If Pulev loses to Joshua, he might have to fight a good heavyweight next time to try and quickly became a mandatory again before he ages out.

Pulev has won his last eight contests since losing to Wladimir in 2014. Of the eight, Dereck Chisora is the best of the bunch by a mile. The rest of them were 2nd tier level heavyweights. Hughie was ranked highly by the IBF when Pulev fought him, but he’s a bottom level fringe contender at best in this writer’s view.

Pulev’s wins since 2014:

  • Hughie Fury
  • Rydell Booker
  • Samuel Peter
  • Maurice Harris
  • Bogdan Dinu
  • Kevin Johnson
  • Ivica Perkovic
  • Georgia Arias

Goosen is going to need to figure out something quick to improve Pulev enough for him to win this fight. Pulev has a good jab, and it might work for him to keep Joshua at range so he can’t land his big power shots.


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