Joshua vs. Pulev & Undercard
Press Conference Quotes
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Managing Director:
ďThis is the curtain closer for a difficult 2020, but it
doesnít get any bigger. The unified World Heavyweight
Championship between Anthony Joshua and his Mandatory
Challenger Kubrat Pulev.Ē
Bob Arum, Top Rank Chairman:
ďKubrat Pulev is a really rugged fighter. Pulev went into
very serious training in Bulgaria, heís in the best
condition of his career. I look for him to not only beat AJ
but to knock him out.
ďTyson Fury agrees with me that thereís a great chance that
Pulev is going to upset the apple cart and beat Anthony
Joshua. Thatís why they do the fights, to see what happens
in the ring. Without question, whatever way the fight goes
itís going to be very entertaining.Ē
John Wirt, President of Epic Sports and Entertainment:
ďWeíre finally here, two days away, itís exciting and weíre
really happy to be here. For Kubrat, this fight is about
father and country. Kubrat descends from an ancient people
the Thracians. Those people prided themselves on the prowess
of their warriors, and thatís what Kubrat is Ė a real
ďKubrat is here to do what his father dreamt for him. His
father wanted two sons that would become boxers and
eventually become World Champions.
ďHeís in incredible condition, heís lean and heís man on a
mission. I believe on Saturday the referee will be raising
his hand, I believe that Kubrat will knock Anthony Joshua
ďThe pressure that I went through last year was tough, but
it made me mentally stronger. I grew a thicker skin. Iíve
always been tough and wanted to fight the best, thatís never
been an issue.
ďWhat have I got to lose? Iíve got everything to gain. I
want to be successful in boxing and the only way to be
successful is take on big challenges. This is just another
one Iím looking forward to competing with.
ďI want to promote boxing; I donít yearn for that credit.
Iím very motivated, Iím hungry, thatís why I put myself
forward for any opportunity. Iíve got a family to feed,
friends I want to do business with, the worlds my oyster. At
the end of the day, I canít expect anyone to love me if I
donít love myself, so I respect myself, and thatís why I put
in work every single day.
ďIíve been fighting at a top level ever since I walked into
the gym. I had a three-year amateur career, going from
walking into the gym to competing at the European
Championships, World Championships and the Olympics.
ďIíve been punched by the strongest people many times but
Iím still here today. That never changed me, just because I
took a loss from Ruiz I donít think thatís enough to change
someone. Every fighter trains hard, but itís character that
separates us, and Iíve got a lot of character.
ďIím going to go into the fight, Iím definitely going to get
hit and heís going to get hit, itís going to be last man
ďItíll be good for the fans, but my focus will be just on
Pulev. No disrespect to the fans coming in but Iíve got a
serious job I need to complete. God willing Iím confident
Iíll enjoy the victory after.
ďIíve known Kubrat Pulev for many years. I was in the
training camp when his brother was sparring Warren Baister.
I was in Klitschkoís camp when he prepared for Pulev. I
understand some of tactics that need to go in to beating
ďIím prepared for the fight to go to the final bell, I feel
like Iím a 15 round fighter not a 12-round fighter. If it
needs to go 12 rounds, Iíll be more than capable to carry my
stamina, my boxing IQ, concentration and strength until the
Robert McCracken MBE, trainer of Anthony Joshua:
ďHeís had a great camp, he really enjoys boxing Ė weíve been
doing more boxing sessions, two a day in some cases so heís
been really enjoying that.
ďHeís sparring great, his athleticism is brilliant, and his
physical strength is phenomenal. Thatís what people donít
realise when they get in the ring with him, how he can move
and how strong he is.
ďHeís worked long and hard on the discipline, doesnít
underestimate anybody and takes everyone seriously. Heís not
unified champion for no reason, heís a fantastic fighter and
heíll only get better. This is a good fight for him and one
we look forward to.
ďAnthony fights the very best fighters out there, thatís why
heís achieved what he has achieved and why heís got the name
heís got Ė he doesnít duck anybody. Kubrat Pulev is one of
the best out there, heís a really good fighter, but I
believe Anthonyís a better fighter thatís why heís the champ
and we believe heíll prove that Saturday night.
ďI think heís gone through a learning experience; heís
wasnít 100% going into the first Ruiz fight. We took the
rematch and he won it comfortably, we always thought he
would. Ruiz is a very good fighter, a very strong
ďAnthonyís Olympic Champion, Unified Champion, heís going
from strength to strength. Heís enjoyed the camp, heís been
disciplined, on point and Saturday night canít come soon
ďIím ready to fight, we waited a long time for this fight.
In 2017 I had a problem and thatís why I said to my trainer
we must go for the win, not to fight now but fight a couple
of years later. I knew the fight would come one day.
ďIím here now, ready to fight and win Ė I believe Saturday
night I will take the win.
ďIn 2017 I was younger, but I also had a problem with the
sparring, and I couldnít fight. Now Iím healthy, Iím ready
and happy the fight Ė with the pandemic around the world
itís not easy. Iím ready to get the win.
ďI think I have everything, Iím ready. Respect to Anthony,
Olympic and World Champion, and a good fighter. Iím ready
and I have everything to be Champion.Ē
ďOf course, heís ready, this is what heís trained for his
entire life. This is a big opportunity. Itís a trying time
in the world right now and he [Kubrat] has a chance to take
peopleís minds of it and take the victory.
ďHe can entertain the world so they can see his journey,
what heís done on the road to become Heavyweight Champion of
the World. Itís good for Kubrat to help the world on its way
to normality. Weíre ready.
ďKubrat is mentally strong and I think weíll cause on upset
on Saturday night.
ďOf course, you need somebody like Anthony Joshua to make
the victory that much sweeter. If I thought Anthony wasnít
the one to bring that diversity, then it wouldnít be a good
fight. I think heís very well prepared, heís in his home
country, heís got a lot to prove and heís going to come out
ďFor me, the most important thing is fighting. The Titles
will come in due course, I thought it was my time this
Saturday, but Iíll just have to keep the training going and
beat a good undefeated fighter.
ďI feel like if anything this is a positive, Iíd won the
British Commonwealth European Title and the World Title shot
has just come. However, this feels like a final eliminator
and itís added a bit of spice to Saturday for me. Heís got
the world at his feet if he manages to win so Iíll have to
make sure I go and do my thing.
ďThis is a great opportunity to put on a mature performance.
Shane said heís not going to happy with me if I donít do
certain things in this fight, so Iím going to make sure they
ďItís one thing doing it in the gym, itís about executing it
on fight day. There are certain things I do in the gym I
donít do in the ring; itís about translating that. Iím happy
to win, but thereís more that Iím capable of doing that I
need to bring into the fights if Iím going to be World
ďThis is a big chance for me, and Iíll take it. I have big
respect for Laurence because heís an Olympian medallist, but
this is a big chance for me, and Iíll do everything I can to
ďIíve had only five daysí notice, but Iíll give it
everything Iíve got.Ē
ďI believe Iím ready for all these fights and people are
going to see a major difference. Iím very confident, I work
hard, and people are going to see this on Saturday.
ďMariusz Wach is a tough fighter, heís been whacked a lot
and heís still standing. Itís going to be a good fight, but
Mariusz hasnít fought a fighter like me so Iím looking
forward to it.
ďI can box, I can knock him out Ė see what I bring to the
table. I believe in myself, the main this is to get the win.
Iím looking forward to putting a show on and Mariusz hasnít
faced anyone like me before.
ďI believe I belong in this division, especially at world
level, and Iím going to take over Ė mark my words.Ē
ď43 other fighters were saying similar things like my
opponent [Hughie]. I hope that this energy he has now will
be there on Saturdayís fight. Iím certain Iím in some of the
best form of my career and I want to win Saturdays bout.Ē
ďIt will be a very difficult fight for both of us, my
opponent is much younger and wants to fight his way up to
the title, but I want to stop. I also want to win this
ďIím looking forward to this fight, I always call people out
and want to fight the best. Saturday night I have one of the
best opponents and Iím looking forward to it.
ďIn boxing if you donít take the risk, youíre not a
professional. Iíve been training with AJ and some top guys
out in the UK. This is a manís fights, so on Saturday weíll
see what he brings to the table.
ďI am a big puncher and I can get punched, thatís the
problem for him [Sergey]. Heís in big trouble because Iíll
get him, weíll see whoís the best on Saturday night. Weíve
both had 1 loss each, this means a lot and both of our
careers are on the line.Ē
ďFor me, every fight is very important no matter who the
opponent. As always, I come to the UK, so this is just a new
goal for me facing Martin Bakole.
ďIn the Heavyweight division anything can happen, one punch
can change everything. It depends how me or Martin will
follow our plans for the fight. It can also go the distance,
ďIíve been waiting for this moment for a long time. Iíve
been training really hard; this is my moment. I donít care
who is in front of me, I donít see opponents. I only see
only someone who is trying to stop me from reaching my
dreams and making my families lives better.
ďIím not new in this game, I have been fighting since I was
12 years old. I have 170 kickboxing fights, I was four-time
World Champion. This is not new for me.
ďMy Albanian fans make the difference. They fill stadiums
wherever Iíve been, and I appreciate that. Now I will win
with my performance and character with the UK fans.
ďI want to whoever thinks that they are the best fight in my
division. Bring the best guys with the best records and
youíll see what Iíll do to them. When they are in the ring
with me, they change, when they are in front of me
everything changes. When they see my speed and power, they
ďIím been ready since September, since my last outing with
Hennessey Jr at Light-Middleweight. I did what I had to do
to get the fight. Sometimes a boxer might not fight because
of someone pulling out, so I thought I could grab this
opportunity so get back out there and for people to see who
ďI feel like thereís more to come for me. I took that fight
on a two-week notice, I wasnít really training for the
fight. Since after that fight Iíve been in the gym every
day, non-stop, lowering my weight.
ďI feel ready and comfortable. I know heís dangerous, Iíve
been saying for months I donít want to fight journeyman
anymore. I need a test and a challenge, and I know heís a
big puncher Ė thatís something I want to risk.Ē
ďIíve got a lot of people following me back home, so Iíve
got to put on a good show. I want to be there fighting
decent fighters, I want to show that Iím tough and ready.Ē
ďIím massively focused, I always look at whatís in front of
me and Iím not looking past it at all. Iím here to do a job.
ďI was gutted when Souleymane Cissokho pulled out but fair
play to Macaulay for stepping in at such short notice. Iíve
stepped in at short notice and I respect it. Iím here to do
a job and Iíll fight fire with fire if I have to.
ďI took those short notice fights because I stay in shape.
Iím huge for the weight, Iím big and Iím coming in with the
presence. Itís going to overwhelm him.
ďA statement probably is needed but this is the perfect
place to do it. Thereís going to be loads of people watching
this, hopefully theyíre going to remember my name and a win
will really cement it.
ďI think he [Macaulay] is quite delusional, knocking me
about, I donít know where thatís come from. I donít think
anyoneís come close to that yet.
ďAfter my last fight I took one week off; I always stay
ready. I was ready to take any sort of opportunity that came
up, I wanted another fight before Christmas. That was the
mentality I had coming into this.Ē
ďI took a bit of beating in my last fight, but lifeís about
being resilient and Iím bouncing back. I know a lot of
people are thinking I canít win on a weekís notice. I donít
care what anyone thinks, Iím coming for the win.
ďIím coming for a fight, thatís all Iím coming for, itís
going to be a fight. An absolute war.
ďIím here to entertain, have a good read and riot and go
home to see my family. I stepped in on a weekís notice. I
got a pasting in my last fight, I need to make statement, I
need to go out there and do what I do best. Not think about
it, go and do what I do best and have a good fight.
ďI wouldnít have taken the fight if I didnít think I could
make a statement and win the fight.Ē
ďYou can always learn something from a defeat. You learn
more than you do from a win, because sometimes things that
go wrong, if you win you might brush them under the carpet.
ďThat defeat will keep me in good stead down the line.
Ashley Lane is no mug; heís only lost once in his last eight
fights. Within those last eight fights he was a Commonwealth
Champion at my weight.
ďIím ready to take on all the step ups, I take on all the
fights Ė Iím not one to shy away from any fights. Thatís the
way I mean to go on.
ďI definitely want to make a statement, but the pressure
doesnít bother me. Pressure makes diamonds. Iím one of those
people that has been to the highest mountains in the
amateurs. It didnít bother me then; it doesnít bother me
ďAshfaq is going to be feeling a bit down after that loss to
Mark Leech but Iím expecting him to bring a good performance
and weíll bring a good performance. Itíll be a great fight
and god willing Iíll have my hand raised.
ďI retired in September, COVID and the lockdown came, and I
got a new job, boxing was behind me I was moving on. As I
said that, Jamie and Chris rang me and said weíve got you a
fight on the AJ show. Itís an opportunity you canít turn
ďI see this fight as a bonus for me. I walked away from
boxing three months ago and I wasnít going to come back. Now
Iím here at one of the biggest shows of the year, this is a
bonus so no matter what happens on the night Iíve already
ďOne loss doesnít dictate whether you go on to win titles or
not, so whatever happens Saturday, Ashfaq has got a future
and Iíve got a few more years in boxing. God willing Iíll
win, and I canít retire now.Ē