It’s been 12 months since we last witnessed Anthony Joshua enter the boxing ring. He defeated Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia that night, regaining his WBA (super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles from the American, and AJ will be putting it all on the line again when he touches gloves with Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev at the Wembley Arena in London on December 12th.
It is the third time Joshua and Pulev have been scheduled to go toe-to-toe, with the first encounter supposed to take place at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff back in October 2017. However, the Bulgarian pulled out of the bout injured just days before the fight and was replaced by Carlos Takam.
The second fight between the pair was scheduled to take place at the state-of-the-art Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but those plans were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, and they will now trade blows at the North London-based Arena – which will be a first outing at venue for AJ, who is the heavy favorite in the Joshua vs Pulev odds from Paddy Power, although this fight will be without the usual roaring 12,500 fight fans in attendance.
As we count down the days to AJ’s long-awaited return to the ring, let’s take a look at the fights we can look forward to in the build up to the main event. Read on to find out more!
Hughie Fury vs Mariusz Wach – Heavyweight
Tyson Fury’s cousin Hughie will get fight night underway with a bout against Poland’s Mariusz Wach (36-6). 26-year-old Fury (24-3) bounced back from a defeat against Alexander Povetkin last year with a victory over Pavel Sour back in March and he will be hoping for back-to-back wins when he takes on the 40-year-old, who recently lost to Dillian Whyte on the undercard of Joshua vs Ruiz Jr. II.
Martin Bakole vs Sergey Kuzmin – Heavyweight
Martin Bakole vs Sergey Kuzmin is another fight that has been a long time in the making. The pair were supposed to clash for the vacant WBC International heavyweight title on the undercard of Whyte vs Povetkin back in August, but that fight was postponed, and they now go toe-to-toe at the December 12th event. Both men boast identical records (15-1), but it is Bakole who is the favorite with the bookies.
Souleymane Cissokho vs Kieron Conway – Super-welterweight
Northampton’s Kieron Conway (15-1-1) will go toe-to-toe with Olympic bronze medallist Souleymane Cissokho (11-0). Frenchman Cissokho is making a name for himself as a knockout artist in the super-welterweight division with seven KOs in 11 fights, and he is the 1/3 favorite to inflict Conway’s second professional defeat.
"After this fight I'd expect more big fights and for people to not overlook me anymore,” said Conway.
Lawrence Okolie vs Krzysztof Glowacki – Cruiserweight
Undefeated Briton Lawrence Okolie (14-0) will trade blows with Krzysztof Glowacki (31-2) for the vacant WBO world cruiserweight title in the final bout before the main event. Hackney boxer Okolie, who boasts 11 knockouts in his 14 pro fights, is the heavy favorite to win the vacant belt, which would mean back-to-back defeats for Glowacki, who lost the WBO title in his last outing against Mairis Briedis.