Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight titles could ‘slip from him again’ unless he ‘takes chances’ against Kubrat Pulev, says trainer Peter Fury.
Britain’s unified world champion makes his next defence against Pulev, with a date and venue to be confirmed, and Fury is fully aware of the threat posed by the Bulgarian, who defeated his son Hughie in 2018.
Joshua regained his world titles in a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in December, but Peter has warned about the strengths of Pulev who prevailed on points after Hughie suffered an early cut in their IBF final eliminator in Sofia.
“Pulev is very cagey and he’ll come in top condition as well, and he’s really up for this fight,” Peter Fury told Sky Sports.
“He’s got a very good jab. He’s a very underestimated boxer is Pulev. He’s very awkward.
“You’ve got to break him down and AJ will have to take chances in this fight, because he’s not going to just simply be able to land that double jab and right hand on Pulev, no matter how sharp he is.
“AJ has got to take it to him and be explosive, but be clever with it. You have to fancy the younger man, but like I said, you can’t put anything past Pulev, because he’s a very cute, professional fighter.
“It’s not a pushover fight this, it’s a serious fight. When people are famous in boxing everyone expects them to win, but it’s not the case in this fight. This fight is a dangerous fight for him. If he doesn’t keep 100 per cent focused, this fight can slip from him again.”
Disciplined back-foot boxing was a successful tactic for Joshua in his unanimous decision win over Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia, but Fury insists he cannot allow Pulev to dictate the pace from the centre of the ring.
“He’s an overwhelming kind of guy. If he gets going, gets in a routine, then he can grind you down,” said Fury.
“It’s definitely not a fight for AJ to go on his back foot, because that will definitely suit Pulev down to a tee. It’s not easy to outbox Pulev.”
Peter admits that Hughie, with first-hand experience of Pulev, could be an ideal sparring partner for Joshua, if his British rival needed assistance with preparations.
“Hughie would be available to spar if they need any help. Same as anything else,” he said.
“He’s a professional fighter, so if they need any help and Hughie ticks the boxes, then we’ll look at it.”