Anthony Joshua warned Kubrat Pulev ‘there aren’t any chinks’ in his armour and that his ‘warrior’s mindset’ will see him prevail ahead of their heavyweight world title clash.
Joshua will step back through the ropes for the first time in a year when he puts his WBA, WBO and IBF belts on the line against Pulev tomorrow night.
The Bulgarian, whose only previous world title tilt ended in a knockout defeat against Wladimir Klitschko, has repeatedly insisted he has the superior mental strength and vowed to ‘expose’ AJ like Andy Ruiz Jr did in their first fight.
But Joshua is adamant that he has evolved as a fighter and eradicated any past mistakes, having jabbed and moved his way to redemption in his rematch against Ruiz in Saudi Arabia last year.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s world title defence, Joshua said: ‘Sometimes when things are going well you keep working on your strengths.
“After my loss in New York? What people call weaknesses, I call strengths that I haven’t identified yet.
“I saw the strengths I hadn’t identified – what [other people] call weaknesses. I enhanced them, improved them. Now there aren’t any chinks in my armour. I’ve worked a lot on honing my craft.
“This will be a tough fight but I need to retain my belts. I have a warrior mindset. In my mind, nothing else is important apart from Pulev. That is my focus.”
Meanwhile, Joshua will reportedly bag a cool £10million prize pot from his heavyweight world title defence against Kubrat Pulev.
Despite gate receipts at Wembley’s SSE Arena being limited to just 1,000 due to the coronavirus restrictions as part of the new regional tier system, Joshua will still get a handsome payday.
Pulev, who comes to London as the heavy underdog, will earn just £3m from the fight – £7m less than the world champion, according to 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.