Ahead of a potential heavyweight world title shot against Anthony Joshua in December, Kubrat Pulev speaks exclusively to Marc Gatford about how to beat the unified world champion, fighting without fans in the arena and why Joshua may be “scared” to leave London.

Although Joshua is the favourite in the boxing betting, the Bulgarian is confident of causing a major upset and handing the champion the second knockout defeat of his career.

What’s the latest with your fight against Anthony Joshua?

"We have one heavyweight champion [Joshua] and he is too slow all the time to agree a date.

“We understand the world pandemic and everything but I think we can fight this year and I prepare to do this - it does not matter where, which day, I’m ready, we are training and I wait for the date. 

"December 5th is what we’ve heard, and I hear London is favourite to host.

"We think London because he is maybe scared and he wants to fight there. Normally we can fight anywhere in the world not only in London - but for me it’s no problem, I can fight anywhere. I’m ready, I'm hungry, and I know I am going to win."

How is camp going? Is there any chance this fight does not happen in December?

"I can’t train 100 per cent right now, because everything is not settled. But if the fight is fixed for December I will start concentrating on this fight one million percent. 

"In this world there’s a chance for anything to happen, but now nobody can say for sure when this fight happens.

"But I think this fight will be this year, it’s absolutely possible."

What will it be like if there are no fans? How do you beat AJ and how will the fight play out?

"For him it will be a little bit different without his fans, but this is a very manly sport. We can fight with the public or without the public, it does not matter. But maybe he needs the public.

"He is a very good boxer for sure, a world champion, and he has had a lot of good fights. But I see a lot of problems in his style and his boxing and I think I can use every small opening and I can beat him. I do think he has a problem with psychology.

"I think the fight has the same ending as with Andy Ruiz. I know that I will surprise the whole world with this fight. I will show boxing fans across the world that Joshua will go down because we will be bringing war."

You were due to fight in 2017, what happened?

"I stopped training because I was injured and he didn't believe me, he was a little bit arrogant. He said: ‘if I was Pulev I could box with this injury’, but it’s not so easy. 

"God showed us it’s not good to speak too much and that’s why he is now injured with his leg. I wait patiently and when he is ready and healthy, we can fight."

There’s a lot of talk about Joshua fighting Fury. What do you think of that?

"This is also very arrogant. Talking about Fury because he doesn't think about my fight, like last time with Ruiz. But life showed him that this is very bad when someone does that. That’s why he will take his second knockout of his life. We will show him and the whole world.

"I’m now next in line for Fury and I think, after AJ, I will fight with Tyson Fury because Joshua is going to lose and he does not think I’m a big problem - but I will show him really new things."

You’ve fought Tyson’s cousin Hughie – who is the better Fury?

"Hughie is fast and moves quick, a good fighter but I don't think he is special at all. Although I still think Hughie is better than Tyson Fury."

Is it true that the Joshua fight could happen on a boat?

"It does not matter where it is, I’m ready. It’s just important to win. It doesn’t matter whether it’s on a boat, or in a stadium, in Europe, in the USA, or in Saudi Arabia, it doesn’t matter to me.

"This will be a win for my country as Bulgaria has never had a heavyweight champion of the world, this win will not only be for me but a win for all people from my country and I want to make them really happy."

Dillian Whyte fights Alexander Povetkin this month – who wins?

"It is a very interesting fight. They are both very good boxers.

“Povektin was a very good amateur. We know professional boxing is different and we know Whyte is a 100 percent professional boxer. I’m 50-50 but I hope Povetkin wins because I know him personally and he’s a really good man who does not talk too much.

"On the other hand, Dillian Whyte talks so much bullshit. He is always twisting things up and talking bullshit; talking, talking, talking too much. I don’t like this.

"I want to fight Whyte after I beat AJ, I want to fight with Dillian Whyte and I want to show him a very special KO. I promise him that.”