Promoter Bob Arum thinks it would be a terrible idea for Anthony Joshua to overlook the threat that Kubrat Pulev posses to him, and he could lose to him if he’s focused on that contest.
Arum is warning IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) not to look past his IBF mandatory challenger Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs). Joshua can’t afford to overlook Pulev the way that Dillian Whyte overlooked Alexander Povetkin last Saturday night because he could get knocked on his backside.
The 40-year-old Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) was brought into the UK last night for Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) to use as a stay busy opponent, but it backfired on Dillian with him getting stopped in the fifth round.Povetkin is now the WBC mandatory to champion Tyson Fury. Still, Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn was smart to include a rematch clause in the Whyte-Povetkin contract that they’ll be using to force a rematch in December.
Whyte was focused on Povetkin, but he wasn’t ready for his fast inside move to throw a left uppercut.
In Whyte’s 11-fight winning streak, he had never fought anyone with the nimble inside movement that Povetkin showed last Saturday.
Arum Warns Joshua Not To Overlook Pulev
“My reaction is Dillian got what he deserved,” said Arum to IFL TV on Whyte’s loss to Povetkin. “I was reading the last couple of weeks over here about statements from Whyte about how he was going to do this to Tyson Fury and that to Tyson Fury.
“He sure as heck didn’t see the uppercut from Povetkin that knocked him cold. Whyte has eliminated himself as the mandatory. I’m going to tell my guy Tyson Fury, ‘Don’t overlook Deontay Wilder because you don’t overlook a guy that can punch like Deontay Wider,’ and hopefully, he gets through.“I hope Eddie Hearn says the same thing to Anthony Joshua because if Anthony Joshua is going to focus on Tyon Fury and forget that he’s fighting Kubrat Pulev, he’s also going to get knocked on his a**,” said Arum.
There’s less of a chance of Joshua overlooking Pulev now than there would have been before, as AJ’s knockout loss to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019 taught him a valuable lesson.
Still, you can’t rule out a win for the 6’4 1’2″ Pulev because he’s got size, power, and talent that could prove to be the tipping point in his contest against Joshua.
What’s true is Pulev won’t likely get any credit for beating Joshua, considering that boxing fans will say AJ was overlooking him and not concentrated 100% due to the fight being a mismatch on paper.Hearn Wants To Stage Joshua-Pulev In The UK
“He doesn’t have the greatest chin in the world, he doesn’t have the greatest stamina in the world, but he’s a tried and true professional,” said Arum about Povetkin. ”
If you let your guard down and you become overconfident, you’re going to get knocked out like Dillian Whyte got knocked out,
“You’re not dealing with little bantamweight; You’re dealing with super heavyweights.
“Eddie is waiting to see in the UK when he’ll be able to do a fight with spectators limited or not because a gate for a Joshua-Pulev fight would be substantial, and then the pay-per-view and the rights fee from the United States.
“So there’s a lot of money out there for a Joshua-Pulev fight. Hopefully, Eddie will be able to put it on in the UK for an audience. If not, we’ll have to do it without an audience.
Alexander Povetkin Anthony Joshua Dillian Whyte Kubrat Pulev
“Pulev is my fighter, and I promote him. If we can’t do it with an audience, then we’ll have to push forward. But I’m hopeful that the UK looks like it’s getting the COVID under control, and I’m confident that Eddie will be able to do an event with limited spectators in sometime in December.
“I really give Pulev a hell of a shot against Joshua, I really do,” Arum continued. “He’s a tough guy, he takes a good punch, and we’ll see.
“If both Brits [Joshua and Fury] come through, it would certainly be the biggest fight in the history of the UK without question,” said Arum.
The chances of Joshua vs. Pulev being staged in front of spectators in the UK in 2020 aren’t good, especially if a second wave of the virus hits in the fall.
Whyte Got What He Deserved
“These are heavyweights. They can’t go into a fight and be looking ahead to a future fight,” Arum said on Whyte’s loss to Povetkin. “They’ve got to concentrate entirely on a fight that they’re having.
“So, Dillian Whyte got what he deserved. The horrible things he was saying about Tyson Fury, and about how he [Whyte] was pestering the WBC about his mandatory position about how he was trying to break up a potential Fury-Joshua fight down the road.
“Eddie Hearn flapping his mouth didn’t help, but the WBC held their ground. They held their firepower because they knew that Whyte was in a difficult fight against a tried and true professional like Povetkin, and they waited to see what would happen after that fight.
“So again, if Kubrat Pulev doesn’t beat Joshua, and I believe he will. But if Joshua wins and Tyson Fury can face Wilder and beat Wilder, then we can look forward to a Tyson Fury-Anthony Joshua fight, which is the biggest heavyweight match of our time.
“Neither Fury nor Joshua, this should be a lesson to both of them, don’t look ahead to a future opponent. Concentrate on the guy that you’re fighting.
Alexander Povetkin Anthony Joshua Dillian Whyte Kubrat Pulev
“They’re heavyweights, and they punch well, and Povetkin always punched well,” said Arum when asked if he’s surprised by Whyte’s loss to Alexander.
Boxing fans want to see Joshua vs. Fury in 2021, and I’m sure that’s what Arum wants as well. Even though Arum promotes Pulev, he’s got to be secretly pulling for Joshua to beat him.
Arum believes that a venue with smaller crowd size and spaced seating will make it possible to stage the Joshua-Pulev fight in front of a crowd in the UK this year, but possibly that won’t happen.
Dillian Wasn’t Focused On Povetkin
“It’s a lesson for all fans because Dillian Whyte did nobody favors in talking about fighting Tyson Fury when he was fighting Povetkin,” said Arum.
“I think Matchroom was selling the [Whyte vs. Povetkin] fight on pay-per-view, and the numbers are not very good because you don’t promote a fight talking about the next guy. You promote a fight by talking about the guy that’s in front of you.
“I’m more confident that I’ve been,” Arum said when asked how confident he is in staging the Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III fight in December.
“I’m working with Nevada, the governor, with the casinos and the convention authority. We have a beautiful new stadium in Las Vegas, and we believe we’ll be able to put in the stadium a boxing match, which holds 85,000 people.
“We can do it between 15 to 20,000 with spaced seating and social distancing and everybody wearing masks. So I’m much more optimistic that we’re going to go on December 19th.
“But we don’t control this coronavirus. But I hope things will be under control so that we can do this Fury-Wilder fight with attendance and with fans. Again, if we had to push ahead without spectators, it would be hard, but we’d talk to the fighters about it.
“We look at February because we got a pretty good offer outside of the United States to do that fight in February. The fighters get most of the money, and they’re on percentage both Wilder and Tyson.
“We’ll leave it up to them. That’s if we can’t go on December 19th, and I believe I can. But if I can’t or if I can’t do it with no spectators, I’ll ask the fighters if they want to wait six weeks or so, and we’ll have a big site fee to make up for the gate,” said Arum.
It’s not fair to Pulev that Arum is saying that the only reason he won is that Whyte wasn’t focused on their fight.
Mayweather Could Help Wilder For Fury Trilogy
“We promoted Floyd for ten years, and I don’t know if there’s any boxer that knows the sport the way that Floyd does,” said Arum when asked about his thoughts on Mayweather potentially training Wilder for the trilogy match against Fury.
“He understands boxing from a technical standpoint, so it can only help. But I haven’t heard that Floyd would be involved in the training. That would help Deontay Wilder.
“That makes a lot of sense. Floyd is a genius when it comes to boxing, and I mean that sincerely.
“I know for a fact that very few people know the technical aspects of boxing like Floyd does, and I understand from the kids that he’s been training that he’s an outstanding teacher.
“So I think that Deontay Wilder can only benefit by being trained and advised by Floyd Mayweather,” said Arum.
That would be a shocker if Deontay Wilder defeats Fury in December, and then he wins up as the guy that faces Anthony Joshua in 2021.
Arum wouldn’t be happy with that obviously because he doesn’t promote Wilder.
It’s hard to figure what Mayweather would be able to teach Wilder during one training camp that would enable him to defeat Whyte in their trilogy match.