HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE DEFENCE
World heavyweight boxing champion, Anthony Joshua will pocket a cool £10million prize pot from his title defence against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev on Saturday night.
Despite gate receipts at Wembley’s SSE Arena being limited to just 1,000 due to the Covid-19 restrictions as part of the new regional tier system, Joshua will still get a handsome payday in what will be his first fight in a year.
Pulev, who comes to London as the heavy underdog, will earn just £3m from the fight – £7m less than the world champion, according to UK’s The Telegraph.
There are no set purses for the fight, and both men could exceed those figures with pay-per-view numbers expected to soar because of the lack of spectators allowed at the event.
Joshua last fought 12 months ago when he exacted revenge against Andy Ruiz Jr to reclaim his world titles and admitted that ring rust could be a problem.
Speaking ahead of the fight, AJ said: “That’s what makes this fight so interesting. This year has just thrown every obstacle at us all.
“I might go in there, I can tell you that I’m a million dollars, I feel good, I’ve been knocking everyone out in sparring. I’m the one that’s coming up now and I’m going to be the undisputed champ and I go in there on Saturday night and I (might) get my head punched in because I’ve got ring rust. Who knows?
“But I feel good, I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t boxed in such a long time, but that’s why in lockdown I’ve done a lot of training, mental training. I’ve done a lot of sparring, getting my body tough again, getting punched up.
“Sometimes in sparring in my head I’m going to take this round off and let this boy punch me up because I need to get tough. I need to get that thick skin. That’s the closest way I can prepare and I hope it comes to fruition on Saturday,” stressed the Sagamu-born British heavyweight champion.
Pulev’s only other world title challenge ended in a knockout defeat against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014 but the Bulgarian is confident of seizing his chance on Saturday night.
With all due respect to Anthony Joshua, I don’t think he’s that good, nor do I think he’s invincible,” Pulev said in an exclusive interview with Sportsmail.
“I have been born for this. Saturday is the most important day of my life.
“This was my father’s dream for me to become a world champion. My father died when he was 80, before I had this chance. But he will be watching and I will make him proud.”
Similarly, the whole of Sagamu in Ogun State, AJ’s birthplace, will be awake all night to see their son take down the obstacle on his way to fighting Tyson Fury to unify all the heavyweight categories.