By Brian Webber: Kubrat Pulev is picking Oleksandr Usyk to knock out Anthony Joshua in their rematch on August 20th in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The former heavyweight world title challenger Pulev (29-2, 14 KOs) says he feels the former IBF/WBA/WBO champion Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) isn’t that good, and Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) will do a number on them when they meet up in two months from now.
Pulev, 41, blames his ninth-round knockout defeat against Joshua in December 2020 for not being as well-prepared as he should have been for that fight.
Joshua will lose again
There were periods during the fight where you could see that Pulev had a chance of winning, but he blew it by failing to adapt after Joshua started hitting him with uppercuts.
Pulev is a 13-year pro, and he knows how to neutralize an uppercut, but against Joshua, he failed to make the changes that he needed to take this weapon away from him.
“Rematch, Derek Chisora – Kubrat Pulev 2,” said Pulev to iFL TV. “When he needed a rematch, I gave him. I like London, I like England, good people, intelligent people, open and good. I like to speak with people like that. When he needed revenge, why not?
“When they make a rematch, I think Usyk is going to knock him out because Joshua is nothing special,” said Pulev when asked his prediction for the Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk rematch in August.
“I lost against him, but I wasn’t good prepared. It’s my mistake, of course. It’s my fault, but that was the situation. Now I’m a lot of power and energy. Health is most important,” said Pulev.
If Pulev is right about his prediction of Usyk stopping AJ, it could be game over for Joshua because that would be his third defeat in his last five fights for the 2012 Olympic gold medalist from England.
With Joshua’s ego, he’ll have difficulty absorbing yet another defeat, particularly a knockout. If Joshua chooses to continue with his career, it would be a good idea for his promoter Eddie Hearn to put him in with someone like Pulev as a confidence-builder to get him used to winning again.
Pulev is giving Chisora a rematch
“Not so many,” said Pulev when told that his first fight was many years ago. “A couple of years . It was a little too much show,” Kubrat said about the weigh-in with Chisora six years ago.
“You know Derek, he likes this, and I like too, no problem. Maybe now, it happens, something. I have a couple of fights, and they give me more experience,” said Pulev.
Kubrat says he’s fighting the 38-year-old Chisora (32-12, 23 KOs) again for business purposes because Dereck wants the rematch, and he was offered the fight with the struggling British fighter.
It’s a nice gesture that Pulev is throwing Chisora a bone because he needs a real pick-me-up now with his career having gone belly-up after his recent string of defeats.
Six years ago, Pulev soundly beat Chisora by a 12-round split decision in Hamburg, Germany. It was a one-sided affair, with the 6’5″ Pulev jabbing Chisora from long range and wrapping him up in a clinch each time he’d work his way to the inside.
Many of Chisora’s boxing fans felt that he’d done enough to deserve a victory over Pulev, but it wasn’t close. This writer had Pulev winning 10-2 in rounds, and you can even argue that 11-1 would have made sense.
Derek looks shot
Chisora’s career has evaporated recently, losing his last three fights to Joseph Parker and Oleksandr Usyk. Those are fighters that are way out of his class, and he had no business fighting guys like that.
Chisora’s promoter Eddie Hearn thinks he’s got a chance against Pulev, but he’s making a mistake. Pulev is also out of Chisora’s league, especially with Delboy’s stamina has gotten so bad in the last two years.
Chisora looked exhausted in his last two fights against Parker, and it was worrisome watching him gasping for breath, looking like he needed oxygen.
“I feel after every fight, I have more experience and better and better,” said Kubrat when asked if he feels the rematch with Chisora will be different from the first fight.
“Because I prepare two or three months in the USA for my last fight. Derek and Jerry Forrest, my previous opponent, is the same style. I’m ready and prepared, I’ve done a lot of sparring, and I’m already in the training process. I’m ready. Why not?
“I said after every fight, win or lose, I [learn] a lot of things, and this is more and more experience,” said Pulev about how he learned from his recent ninth-round knockout loss to Anthony Joshua in December 2020.
Pulev wants to win a world title
“After every fight, I’m different. Only [to win a] world heavyweight title, that’s it,” said Kubrat when asked what remaining goal he has in his career. “Yes,” when asked if he believes he can win a heavyweight world title.
It’s improbable that Pulev will win a world title at this point because he’s lost a lot from his game, and there’s no one poor enough for him to beat.
Pulev would have had an excellent chance of defeating WBA ‘regular’ champion Trevor Bryan if he’d been given a shot against the vulnerable belt-holder, but it’s too late now.
Bryan is fighting Daniel Dubois tonight in Miami, and he’ll surely lose that fight. Pulev will not beat a talent like Dubois, and, of course, he will not defeat Joshua, Usyk, or Tyson Fury.
“Now I’m #10 in Boxrec in the heavyweight division, and Chisora is #6,” said Pulev. “Let’s fight. It’s interesting. Good fights,” Pulev said about Chisora’s recent fights against Joseph Parker and Oleksandr Usyk.
“Derek is always the same. He doesn’t [learn] nothing too much. Every time is the same. He doesn’t change anything. He’s a good and dangerous fighter, but you must make something new.
“You must learn something and do something different. Maybe that’s why he lost his last three fights, but also he’s not scared and he fights with the top guys. That’s why he lost.
“Just business,” Pulev said when asked if it’s personal or business for him in his rematch with Chisora. “This is sport. When he wants, I’m ready. I train for two or three months, and then one month more. I’m top form now.
“Why not?” said Pulev when asked if he believes he’ll KO Chisora on July 9th. “I like London, and it’s going to be an interesting fight.
“I’m always friendly with everyone, but if someone wants something, I give him. This is Kubrat Pulev rules. When somebody wants something, give him,” said Pulev.