Kubrat Pulev: Anthony Joshua has seen nothing like me before
The Bulgarian heavyweight reveals how he has been preparing for his 12 December showdown with Joshua and where he believes the fight will be won.
Ahead of his heavyweight world title shot against Anthony Joshua on 12 December, Kubrat Pulev speaks exclusively to Marc Gatford for the Betway Insider about how he plans to shock the world and claim the belts.
Although Joshua is the favourite in the online betting, the Bulgarian is confident that his mental toughness will help him ‘expose’ the champion and cause a major upset.
What weaknesses have you identified in Anthony Joshua’s game?
"I have been watching his fights carefully. He has a good style and he is a good specimen, but he has not shown any mental toughness.
"Yes, he has skills, but he hasn't shown the mental strength. This is something from within, in the blood of a man, and he does not have it.
"Whatever mental toughness he’s got, I know I'm the harder person. This is the difference - my toughness will prevail."
Where will this fight be won and lost?
"This is going to be a mind game and a chess game for as long as it lasts – a master chess game – but the only difference is the end is going to come like lightning.
"I can tell the fans that I will expose AJ again and prove they have been idolising the wrong guy. I will expose him to the world for a second time.”
Last week, AJ vowed to 'steamroll' you - what is your response?
"He must have learnt that from Andy Ruiz because that's what happened to him. Let’s see what happens."
Take us behind the scenes – how have you been preparing?
"I have been running 10km in a 50-minute range in the Pirin mountains in southwestern Bulgaria to prepare my stamina. I have also been climbing the famous ‘Tooth’ peak, which has really tough terrain and gets to around 2600m-2700m high, where the air gets very thin.
"I have also been training at a famous Belmeken Olympic sport complex up in the mountains. It was built for the old East German outfit that was looking for the best conditions anywhere in Europe.
"It's a high-altitude base camp away from the noise of the city, a place to build the mind and the body while isolated in the mountains. AJ said he will steamroll me. Well, we bring an avalanche back down the mountain.
"Physically and mentally I feel the best I've felt in my life. I feel amazing and ready. He can try his best, but I can assure him one thing: he may have seen some very good opponents, but he hasn't seen anything like me in the ring ever before."
This is your second shot at a world title, the first was against Wladimir Klitchko - what did you learn that will help you win this time?
"I learnt many, many lessons against Klitschko. I had the wrong strategy; I didn't hold my distance and I made so many mistakes. It was almost like a comedy because I was unable to show what I was capable of doing to Klitschko. Let me tell you, that will not happen again.
"I was too green to be at world championship level. I wasn't ready, period. I could have gone 25 rounds physically, but I was too green to be on the big stage. But it was a learning experience and now I'm ready.
"The experience I've added over the years will be priceless."
Will having no fans be a benefit?
"For sure it will be to my benefit if there are no fans because we all know how loud they are, 85 percent would have been British.
"But my focus and knowledge and ring generalship wouldn't have been affected that much because I am focused on what I need to do in the ring."