Anthony Joshua will lastly finish his 12-month absence from the ring this Saturday evening when he faces obligatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on the SSE Area.
The Brit final fought in December 2019 as he convincingly outpointed Andy Ruiz Jr of their profitable rematch in Saudi Arabia to reclaim his WBA, WBO and IBF world titles.
Nonetheless, a brand new problem lies on the horizon within the type of grizzled Bulgarian veteran Pulev – a person who might effectively be getting into the ring for the ultimate time.
On paper, it must be a routine evening for Joshua; Pulev is 39 years outdated and the one vital identify on his resume since his sole loss to Wladimir Klitschko is Dereck Chisora.
Since that loss in Germany to ‘Dr Steelhammer’ six years in the past, Pulev has loved a gentle, if not spectacular, profession on the high stage.
Nonetheless, heavyweight world title fights will not be received on paper and Joshua is aware of first-hand concerning the significance of treating each opponent with the utmost respect after his debilitating loss to Ruiz in New York 18 months in the past.
To remain targeted and switched on within the midst of a world pandemic and together with his world heavyweight titles on the road, ‘AJ’ has drafted in a monster of a sparring companion to maintain him firmly on his toes.
Standing at 6ft 9ins and boasting an ideal skilled file of 6-0, Christian Thun is one to be careful for within the heavyweight division.
Though the German is definitely 5 inches taller than Pulev, Joshua and his workforce wished a ‘wildcard’ companion within the camp to be able to preserve the two-time world champion on his toes.
David Ghansa, Joshua’s coaching camp supervisor, informed Sky Sports activities: “AJ stated to me, ‘Get somebody taller than me.
“Though Pulev is shorter, AJ wished a wildcard – somebody tall with a great jab.
“Thun could be very skilled. He was in Klitschko’s camp earlier than the AJ combat and has been in Fury’s camp too.”
In addition to being within the camp with Klitschko, 28-year-old Thun (who additionally likes to be generally known as ‘The Hurricane’) reportedly bears some similarities to the large Ukrainian.
Supervisor Mehdi Ameur informed World Boxing Information his man desires to make a splash on the world heavyweight scene inside the subsequent two years.
“We had a fantastic first 12 months as a professional,” he stated. “Collectively, we organized a extremely artful first half of 2019 during which we reworked Thun’s physique from being ‘in form’ to an ‘absolute wrecking machine’.
He added: “I do know Christian desires to combat versus the larger names from the UK and USA. He desires to begin to be acknowledged on this planet of boxing.
“We all know that Christian Thun is the brand new Klitschko, however that he will even grow to be the primary Christian Thun.”
Pushing himself to the restrict is one thing Joshua has executed hundreds of instances previously and he’ll proceed to take action as he targets a home double with Tyson Fury in 2021.
Nonetheless, the 31-year-old will likely be all too conscious there’s a German ‘Hurricane’ hurtling by the heavyweight ranks who will likely be determined to show his success within the fitness center might be replicated for actual.