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Boxing: Joshua vs Pulev Odds and Prediction

Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev Betting Odds

The WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles will once again be up for grabs this summer when Anthony “AJ” Joshua defends his titles against IBF mandatory challenger and former world champion challenger Kubrat “Kobrata” Pulev. The two will entertain a large crowd at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20 with the current champion, AJ, favored at -1400 and the challenger, Pulev, coming back at +750.

Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev
  • Date/Time: June 20, TBD
  • Location: London, England
  • Arena: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
  • Where to Watch: DAZN

Odds Analysis

What a whirlwind last 12 months it has been for the champion. The Brit made his American debut on June 1, 2019, as a large -3000 favorite over Andy Ruiz Jr., who was the +1600 underdog. Sure enough, the Mexico native, Ruiz, stopped Joshua in the seventh round to become the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO unified heavyweight champion. The title reign was short-lived, though, as AJ enacted his rematch clause and reclaimed his belts in December.

This just goes to show that nothing is certain when it comes to betting on combat sports, even in a major title fight. Now, I’m not saying to go to the teller and lay your mortgage on Pulev at +750, just that history is there for a gigantic upset. Additionally, the Bulgarian’s lone professional loss came in his only world title fight, getting stopped in the fifth round against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014.

How Will This Fight Play Out?

Joshua showed an evolution to his game his last time out, looking more like a traditional boxer, sticking and moving to avoid any punches coming his way, and out-pointing Ruiz en route to a decision victory. Prior to that fight, AJ typically was the aggressor, bullying opponents around the ring looking to get his hands on them and score the knockout victory. That method also put him in danger of getting into a firefight, which led to him getting knocked out in the first bout with Ruiz. He was also rocked early in his Alexander Povetkin fight in 2018.

Pulev is more patient, walking his opponents down, and is quite hesitant to let his hands fly. He works well behind his jab but has to be in close proximity to really fire it. At times, Kobrata will throw crisp combinations both to the body and the head. Defensively, he does a good job tying up his opponents when they go to engage with him, and because of his constant jab, he stays far away from their power.

AJ could probably go back to his aggressive self in this fight with few repercussions. Of Kubrat’s 28 pro wins, only 14 have been by knockout and he has just one win in that manner over his last four fights. With Joshua wanting to have a statement win perhaps ahead of a potential bout with Tyson Fury later this year to crown our first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000, I think he runs through Kubrat in June.

Prediction: Anthony Joshua (-1400) via knockout

Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Anthony Joshua-1400
Kubrat Pulev+750

Odds as of March 4 at Bovada