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Joshua vs Pulev: Anthony Joshua is 'bigger, stronger, wiser' – Eddie Hearn’s warning to rivals who analyse the champion’s weaknesses

Eddie Hearn: "He was a complete novice and now he's a seasoned fighter - bigger, stronger, wiser"; Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev to go face to face on Thursday before Saturday's world heavyweight title fight, live on Sky Sports Box Office

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Anthony Joshua is "a different fighter" to the one who has previously been hurt and beaten, his promoter Eddie Hearn has warned.

Joshua and Kubrat Pulev will come face to face for the first time this week at Thursday's press conference ahead of Saturday's world heavyweight title fight, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

The defence of his IBF, WBA and WBO gold will be Joshua's first fight since avenging his shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr, but Hearn is expecting a vastly improved champion to begin his second reign.

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Johnny Nelson insists Kubrat Pulev must not be overlooked

"Everybody says 'AJ has vulnerabilities' but when you get in the ring then get a jab, right hand, from Joshua? Everything changes," Hearn told Sky Sports.

"They look at the Ruiz Jr fight. They might look at the Wladimir Klitschko and Dillian Whyte fights to say 'he can be hurt'.

"But any heavyweight can be hurt.

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"The improvements he is making? You will see them on December 12. You will see a different fighter.

"Joshua has said: 'When I fought Klitschko, Carlos Takam and Joseph Parker I didn't really know what I was doing'.

"It is bizarre for someone to say that!

"He was a complete novice and now he is a seasoned fighter - bigger, stronger, wiser."

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Anthony Joshua sends a warning to Kubrat Pulev ahead of their fight this weekend

Pulev's manager Ivaylo Gotsev previously explained to Sky Sports why they draw strength from Joshua's sole loss at the hands of Ruiz Jr.

"Joshua crashed, let's face it. It's hard to rebuild from there," Gotsev said.

"It's tough but it's not impossible, let me be clear.

"Wladimir Klitschko did it. I was there in 1998 in Kiev when he collapsed. Then he collapsed again and again.

"In the Samuel Peter fight in 2005, I was there [as Peter's manager], and saw Klitschko rise three times from the canvas. That's the beauty of boxing.

"So far AJ has not answered that question."

But Joshua has since told Sky Sports that he has eradicated his past in-ring errors: "Sometimes when things are going well you keep working on your strengths.

"After my loss in New York?

"What people call weaknesses, I call strengths that I haven't identified yet.

"I saw the strengths I hadn't identified - what [other people] call weaknesses. I enhanced them, improved them.

"I've worked a lot on honing my craft.

"This will be a tough fight but I need to retain my belts. I have a warrior mindset.

"In my mind, nothing else is important apart from Pulev. That is my focus."

The public workouts

HANDOUT PICTURE COMPLIMENTS OF MATCHROOM BOXING.Anthony Joshua working out in the gym at the hotel.9 December 2020.Picture By Mark Robinson.
Image: Joshua insisted cameras were turned off as he went through a workout
Kubrat Pulev
Image: Pulev looked fit and lean as he shadow-boxed
Lawrence Okolie
Image: Lawrence Okolie will fight Nikodem Jezewski
Hughie Fury
Image: Hughie Fury will take on Mariusz Wach
Sergey Kuzmin
Image: Sergey Kuzmin faces Martin Bakole
Florian Marku
Image: Unbeaten Florian Marku will be in action

Watch Joshua vs Pulev on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from 6pm. Book it via your Sky remote or book it online here. Even if you aren't a Sky TV subscriber, you can book and watch it here.

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