There’s only one fight out there, the biggest fight in the world and everyone knows that. It is the heavyweights; it is me and Anthony Joshua, no one else. I wonder what people would be saying today if Klitschko had done him in the sixth.
May 7 – Pulev’s promoter Kalle Sauerland reiterates their right to face Joshua, saying: “It’s a fight that we were offered before and turned down because we knew we were mandatory. It’s key that we have that fight. It’s a fight that [Pulev] has earned.”
May 11 – Klitschko is still considering whether to accept a rematch against Joshua. Promoter Eddie Hearn says: “Cardiff, Las Vegas, China and Dubai are all in play.”
June 5 – Hearn: ‘I met with the MGM and met with the T-Mobile Arena, Vegas is the front runner and November 11 is the date that is pencilled in.’
June 7 – Joshua-Klitschko II is approved by the IBF. Pulev had objected but accepted the condition that he will receive his shot immediately afterwards.
June 17 – Takam KOs Ivica Bacurin (a former opponent of Dillian Whyte and Tony Bellew) in Italy.
June 29 – As Vegas plans intensify for Joshua-Klitschko II, Showtime boss Stephen Espinoza says: “It would be the biggest heavyweight Vegas fight in probably a couple of decades, so we would love to host it.”
September 5 – Joshua vs Pulev, his mandatory challenger, is confirmed for October 28 at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium. Meanwhile, unbeknown to most, stand-by opponent Takam begins a training camp.
October 16 – Pulev withdraws with an injury and is immediately replaced by Takam, who fills in as Joshua’s mandatory challenger
October 17 – Johnny Nelson said: “I was watching ‘AJ’ train a few weeks ago and it was all specifically in preparation for Pulev, the height, the movement, the shot and his onslaught – now he has to change all that.”
With Pulev it wasn’t about whipping him around the body; it was about staying off the line and boxing down the middle. Carlos is different – he can trade down the middle. My speed will beat his combinations. A good way to beat Carlos is to take his body out, that’s what Alexander Povetkin did to him. I look at each individual fighter, and what their strengths are.