Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev: live updates and undercard from London

Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev LIVE: AJ back in action against Bulgarian Pulev as Brit hopes for no hiccups in bid to move step closer to heavyweight unification with Tyson Fury

  • Anthony Joshua returns to the ring for the first time in a year at Wembley Arena 
  • The Brit looks to defend his titles against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev 
  • A win for will move him a step closer to a unification bout with Tyson Fury 
  • Joshua vs Pulev guide: Date, time and how to watch plus undercard and odds
  • Latest boxing news, live action and results can be found here 

Anthony Joshua returns to the ring a year after regaining his heavyweight titles against Andy Ruiz Jr to defend them against Bulgarian boxer Kubrat Pulev.

Joshua will be hoping for no hiccups as he looks to set-up potential undisputed heavyweight clash with Tyson Fury next year with no.1 WBO contender Oleksandr Usyk also possible.

Also in action is Lawrence Okolie who will now fight Polish fighter Nikodem Jezewski with Hughie Fury also looking for another victory this evening.

Follow Sportsmail’s OLLIE LEWIS for live coverage of Joshua v Pulev as well as build up, including highlights from the undercard action. 

Host commentator

Joshua is on his way now. The 31-year-old is dressed in a sleeveless white top and looks totally focused. AJ walks out to Seven Nation Army as the 1,000 fans belt out his name.

The Brit enters the wrong and has his gaze fixed straight on his opponent. He is ready to go at him after yesterday’s antics. 

Sweet Caroline is ringing around Wembley Arena and the 1000 fans are singing along to the anthem, what a great sound that we have really missed in the last few months.

And now the fighters are ready to go as Pulev, dressed in a red gown, makes his walk to the ring. The Cobra looked lean and mean on the scales, and looks very calm in the ring.

Still waiting on AJ and Pulev to emerge here, but Floyd Mayweather has arrived and had this to say to Sky Sports about his friend Anthony Joshua.

‘It’s always good to see some great boxing. The UK is a great place, so many great fighters. I am proud of Anthony Joshua, and it’s lights, camera, action.

‘He is one of the best heavyweights out there. Got a gold medal before. His career is going great, he is a hell of a fighter.

‘Anything can happen in the sport of boxing, one shot can change it all. He is a great fighter, hell of a guy a gentleman and I respect his craft.’ 

Anthony Joshua is the bookies’ favourite, but can the wily Kubrat Pulev pull off a shock upset? Let us know what your predictions are for this one.

We are moments away from the main event, so here is a reminder of the tale of the tape. 

Okolie looks in fantastic nick, but in fairness to Jezewski he is still game and eager to fight back. 

But Okolie is in a different class as he lands a big one two combination that wobbles the Pole. And he has his man down for a third time and on this occasion the referee waves it off.

What a spectacular performance from Okolie! World title shot next surely?

We are under way in the penultimate fight before the main event, with Jezewski looking to upset Okolie’s cruiserweight title plans. 

The Brit looks sharp here and his Polish rival is already down! He has taken a knee, I don’t think he wants any part of Lawrence Okolie. 

Okolie lands a huge right hand that has the Pole on wobbly legs and somehow he is not out yet! Jezewski looks a scared man, Okolie’s power is something else. 

The Brit lands another big right hand and he’s on jelly legs again! He goes down but beats the count, this isn’t lasting much longer surely. Jezewski just about survives to hear the bell.

Tyson Fury may not be in attendance, but we have boxing royalty at Wembley Arena this evening. 

Floyd Mayweather is ringside to support Joshua tonight! The pay per view king put this on his Instagram stoiry earlier today.

We have just one fight to go before Anthony Joshua sets foot in the ring to face Kubrat Pulev, and it is one of the heavyweight champion’s proteges that will be looking to set up a big 2021 against an undefeated opponent. 

Lawrence Okolie takes on Nikodem Jezewski next.

And there we have it, Hughie Fury wins by unanimous decision. It was a really mature performance from the 26-year-old who settled well after taking that gruesome cut. 

It was a much-needed win after suffering a number of setbacks. Joe Joyce next anyone?

The two men come together to touch gloves before the final round gets under way and it is clear that Wasch needs a knockout if he is to have any chance of winning here. 

And he is well aware of who is in front here as he comes forward looking to land that all-important blow. But he doesn’t have the energy to sustain the onslaught for more than a minute as Fury begins to back up his rival again.

Fury lands a big left hook from the southpaw stance before Wasch fires back with a strong jab of his own. But Fury is in no mood to take a backwards step, pinning Wasch to the ropes  before landing a flurry of shots.

The final bell sounds and in just a few moments we will surely get confirmation that Fury has won this one.

Six minutes remaining here as Peter Fury urges Hughie to stay on his boxing, with Wasch looking very difficult indeed to floor. Fury is landing combinations at will and is in complete control with his faints proving too much for the Pole. 

That looks a tad sore Hughie…

The confidence is certainly there with Fury and in truth, the younger man’s speed and sharpness has left Wasch looking a tad gun-shy. 

Fury switches from southpaw to orthodox, landing jabs at will while Wasch occasionally looks to land a chooping overhand right in a bid to floor him. It looks unlikely at this stage.

All of Fury’s nervous energy in the first half of the fight have dissipated and in its way has come a far more relaxed fighter who is relying on his boxing fundamentals. 

He has found his rhythm here, landing great combinations and is quick enough to read his 40-year-old rival. Fury responds to a right hand with a lovely uppercut, before he triples up on the jab from southpaw. 

The round comes to an end and all the momentum is with Fury. 

A martial arts guru who preaches ‘deep thinking,’ a sparring partner brought in to mimic Kubrat Pulev, a coach known as AJ’s ‘secret weapon’ and the man who’s been there right from the start. 

Click HERE to see the key figures behind team AJ.

The doctor is back at ringside to take a look at the cut and once again he is happy to allow Fury to continue. 

It looks like Hughie has listened to his dad’s advice and is back on his boxing here, rather than marching Wasch down. He’s been far more difficult to hit this round but has been punishing with his speed against the far slower Wasch. 

He is throwing the jab far more and has produced his best boxing of the fight in these three minutes as the bell sounds.

Hughie’s dad Peter says ‘let’s see some boxing now’ as Fury’s corner work frantically on that cut. 

He is struggling to get in a rhythm with Wasch tying him up and his inhibited vision thanks to the cut from Round 4. Fury is still the aggressor, marching Wasch back and doing the more eye catching work. Fury’s cut has held up for now. 

Fury comes out of the blocks straight away with a huge right hand that catches Wasch flush! He’s got the Pole backed up in the corner but he looks like has survived, smothering the younger man again. He wasn’t prepared for that!

Oh dear, it looks like there is a pretty gruesome cut over Fury’s eye that came from a clash of heads – how much could that impact Fury? He seems unfazed as he lands another big right hand and Wasch looks unsteady here. 

The referee has got the doctor to look at that cut – it is a gash more than a cut. He takes a look and says Fury is okay to continue but he may be on borrowed time. Fury finishes the round as he started with a strong right hand but that cut could spell disaster for Fury.

As the pair rise from their stools for the third round, the referee warns them not to engage after the bell sounds at the end of the round. 

It is more of the same from the opening six minutes, with Fury showing more workrate and volume as Wasch looks to smother and catch the 26-year-old as he comes forward. 

Fury is looking to take the centre of the ring and therefore the initiative as he bids to walk down his big and durable opponent. The Pole is using all his experience and guile to smother his opponent in an attempt to slow down the more mobile Fury.

Fury continues to come forward but is caught by a crisp right uppercut that the Brit does well to absorb. He continues coming forward, this is possibly the most aggressive we have seen Fury in a long time – but could that be to his detriment? 

Fury lands a punch after the bell that gets the smattering of fans in attendance excited. 

The bell sounds and we are under way here. From the outset it is clear to see the size differential between the pair, with Wasch the bigger of the two men. 

Fury is coming forward though, with a couple of chopping right hands followed up by a pair of body shots to boot. Wasch is looking to use his size advantage to manhandle Fury, but the referee is quick to separate the pair. 

Wasch lands a decent one-two that Fury rides well as the bell rings out. 

Fury and Wasch are in the ring ahead of what is certainly an intriguing match up this evening. 

We saw Wasch put in a commendable performance against a sluggish Dillian Whyte in Saudi Arabia last year, and the Pole retains lofty ambitions to mix it with the big boys.

Fury, meanwhile, is looking to kickstart a journey to the heavyweight championship himself. At 26 years of age, he needs to get going if he wants to step out of the shadow of his older cousin. 

We will have round by round coverage to come. 

Back in the ring, Martin Bakole has just beaten Sergey Kuzmin via decision to win the WBC international heavyweight title. 

We are getting closer to the main event. Next up is Hughie Fury against Mariusz Wach.

AJ’s defence of all his world heavyweight titles should make for a triumphant comeback. Not least because the mandatory challenger for his IBF belt, Kubrat Pulev, is more mentally willing than physically able as well as being durable rather than devastating.

Click HERE to read more.

Anthony Joshua has insisted he has grown mentally stronger from losing to Andy Ruiz Jr ahead of his world title defence against Kubrat Pulev tonight.

Click HERE to read more.

It is the night Kubrat Pulev has been dreaming of, and the veteran knows what a win will mean for his legacy back home.

The Bulgarian believes victory will put him at the same level as sporting hero Hristo Stoichkov. 

Click HERE to read more.

Meanwhile, back in the ring, Kieron Conway has just earned a unanimous points victory over Macauley McGowen.

Conway was far too big for his opponent and dealt considerable damage, flooring him in the latter stages. There were questions of McGowan’s corner not pulling him out of the contest sooner… the advice between rounds wasn’t too helpful and McGowan constantly asked about the football scores! 

Still a few more to go before the main event. Next up is a crucial battle at heavyweight between Martin Bakole and Sergey Kuzmin.

There is no doubt that Pulev poses a threat to AJ tonight, with the wily veteran having just one defeat on his record – to Wladamir Klitschko. 

Regardless, former world champion Ricky Hatton believes the Bulgarian’s style is ready-made for Joshua. 

Click HERE to read more.

Despite the enticing rewards of a win tonight, AJ insists he is sleeping like a baby – something he believes makes him a psychopath.

Click HERE to read more.

We’re well under way on the undercard this evening, and Jamie Stewart has just earned a commendable score draw against Florian Marku.

Marku, the latest Matchroom signing, was hoping to impress new promoter Eddie Hearn and was fuming when the judges’ decision was announced by David Diamante!

‘Are you joking? Do these judges know boxing? These guys are ruining my career. How can you give this fight a draw!’

Boxers typically view fight week as the end of heavy training sessions, and a chance to gear up for fight night and a final opportunity to get in the head of your opponent. 

However, Joshua has insisted on sparring just two days before tonight’s fight.

Click HERE to read more.

It may be his first fight this year, but AJ will bag eight figures following tonight’s clash with Pulev. Decent work if you can get it.

Click HERE to read more.

1000 lucky fans will be in attendance at Wembley Arena this evening as boxing welcomes fans back for the first time during the pandemic.

But Tyson Fury will not be ringside to cast his eye over his heavyweight rival. The Gypsy King has turned down Eddie Hearn’s invitation to take in tonight’s action.

Click HERE to read more.

MAIN EVENT: Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev – for WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles

Lawrence Okolie v Nikodem Jezewski – WBO international cruiserweight title

Hughie Fury v Mariusz Wach – heavyweight contest

Martin Bakole v Sergey Kuzmin – for vacant WBC international heavyweight title

Florian Marku v Jamie Stewart – welterweight contest

Kieron Conway v Macaulay McGowan – super-welterweight contest

Qais Ashfaq v Ashley Lane – super-bantamweight contest

It certainly was very heated at yesterday’s weigh ins between champion and challenger, with Joshua engaging in a war of words with his Bulgarian rival. 

AJ is in a serious mood ahead of tonight’s clash.

Good evening and welcome to Sportsmail’s live coverage of Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev. 

It’s been just over a year since AJ reclaimed the heavyweight belts he lost so dramatically to Andy Ruiz Jr, and it will surely have been a frustrating 12 months for the champion, with coronavirus throwing a major spanner in the works. 

Tonight AJ will be looking to set his stall for what promises to be a very exciting 2021. A win over IBF mandatory challenger Pulev will move the Brit a step closer to a showdown with WBC champion Tyson Fury.

Stay tuned as we provide build up to tonight’s main event, with Lawrence Okolie and Hughie Fury also competing at Wembley Arena this evening.

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