Anthony Joshua returns to the ring this Saturday against Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev. Now, fans are asking: Which version of AJ will we see in the press conference and – more importantly – in the ring?
The Watford-born heavyweight has for the most part been a composed operator in and out of the ring, but, on one or two occasions, we have seen a nastier side to Joshua.
One notable example, back in 2016, saw Joshua show his more intimidating side to American challenger Dominic Breazeale.
The two faced off, Joshua asked an assistant to hold his championship belt, and suddenly, the atmosphere changed.
AJ warned his opponent: “Don’t stand around like you’re going to do something to me. You’re going to do nothing. Trust me.
“Don’t worry about the belt, the belt’s behind me. I’m talking to you man to man, have you got a problem?”
Take a look at the full clash below.
There was a moment of genuine tension and we saw a more intimidating side of Joshua’s personality. It soon dissipated, though, as Breazeale’s unconvincing attempt to reciprocate didn’t fool anyone.
This hint of a more frightening AJ was a far cry from the sporting, approachable Joshua who faced off with Wladimir Klitschko. But which will Kubrat Pulev meet when the pair weigh in and face off on Friday?
The pair have already participated in one press conference together back in 2017. They were slated to fight but Pulev suffered an injury which prevented the bout from going ahead. Carlos Takam took his place.
At that press conference there was no obvious animosity between the two, but Joshua could be keen to impose himself on his smaller opponent this time around and gain an advantage in the pre-fight mind games.
In that press conference, Joshua said: “It’s about finesse. It’s about outclassing your opponent, but if I need to go to war, I’ll go to war. I could do it with ease as well.
“Sometimes you have to go to the trenches. That’s something you can’t be taught that’s part of your character.”
Fans will point out that, since making that statement, Joshua has been taken into the trenches by Andy Ruiz Jr and defeated.
Of course he has avenged that defeat, but it may lead to a less relaxed Joshua this time around, who is more keen to impose himself on his Bulgarian opponent. We can’t wait to find out.News Now - Sport News