Anthony Joshua confronts his next challenge, plus Katie Taylor gets her first professional world title fight on the bill at the Principality stadium writes John Dennen
UNIFIED world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua faced off with his next challenger, Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev at the Principality stadium in Cardiff, where the two will fight in front of almost 80,000 fans for the IBF and WBA titles on October 28.
There will be two more world title fights on the bill, with Kal Yafai due to defend his WBA super-flyweight belt against Japan’s Sho Ishida. Irish Olympic gold medallist Katie Taylor will box for her first professional world title on the card, challenging Anahi Sanchez for the WBA lightweight title.
This occasion marks Joshua’s first defence of the unified world title after the Briton’s thrilling victory over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley stadium in April.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring,” Joshua said. “Now I can show what I learned from my last fight.”
“It’s about finesse,” he added. “It’s about outclassing your opponents. But if I need to go to war, I can go to war… I just look for the win one way or another.
“Sometimes you can watch a million videos of your opponent and prepare for something but it’s always different when you step in the ring.
“I have to be prepared for the toughest challenges moving forward.”
Joshua begins sparring this week. “We’ll leave no stone unturned,” trainer Rob McCracken insisted. “He’ll put in a fantastic performance against an excellent challenger in Kubrat Pulev.”
The champion is determined to defend his titles and continuing to satisfy his mandatory obligations. “We aren’t ducking, we’re fighting back. We want to keep these belts,” Joshua said. “Each challenge that presents itself is another hurdle.”
“It’s no problem to get energised once again. We haven’t taken our foot off the gas since 2008,” Joshua concluded. “We’ve got a long time to keep on achieving these type of things.”