Prior to a stunning loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in June 2019, many considered Anthony Joshua to be the best heavyweight in the world. Joshua went on to avenge that loss in December 2019 to regain the WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles. Now he'll make his first title defense since that point on Saturday against Kubrat Pulev. The main card is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET with Joshua vs. Pulev likely to begin around 5:30 p.m. ET in London's SSE Arena.
Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) is a former Olympic gold medalist and a victory would likely set up a title unification fight against Tyson Fury, while Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) is a 39-year-old veteran whose only loss came at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko back in 2014. The latest Joshua vs. Pulev odds from William Hill Sportsbook list the champion as a -1000 (bet $1000 to win $100) favorite, while Pulev is a +650 underdog and the over-under for total rounds is 7.5. Before you make any Joshua vs. Pulev picks, see the latest boxing predictions from SportsLine analyst Peter Kahn.
A 2019 Boxing Writers Association of America Cus D'Amato Manager of the Year nominee, Kahn has his finger on the pulse of what's going on inside and outside of the ring. Kahn has managed numerous world champions and currently manages 20 fighters through his company, Fight Game Advisors. He can be seen and heard weekly on "The Fight Guys" on YouTube.
Kahn is uncanny when it comes to picking fights. He is an astounding 27-2 on SportsLine boxing picks since the hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, returning $3,510 to $100 bettors.
Two weeks ago, Kahn had the guts to predict legends Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. would fight to a draw. That's exactly what happened, and anyone who followed Kahn's advice cashed a monster, 12-1 payout.
In October, Kahn called one of the year's biggest upsets, predicting Teofimo Lopez would stun Vasiliy Lomachenko to become the unified lightweight champ. The result? Lopez outhit the pound-for-pound king from the first bell, winning convincingly for a monster payout. Anyone who followed Kahn's advice won $350 for every $100 risked.
Now, with Saturday's showdown fast approaching, Kahn has analyzed Joshua vs. Pulev from every angle, identified the best value in the boxing odds and released three best bets. Head to SportsLine to see all of his boxing picks.
Joshua vs. Pulev preview
With only 1,000 fans allowed in SSE Arena on Saturday, Joshua won't have the gigantic home advantage that he might have hoped for, but he'll have a two-inch height advantage and a four-inch reach advantage to work with over Pulev. This fight was scheduled because Pulev earned a mandatory title shot from the IBF and the concern for Joshua here is that he might be looking ahead to the Fury fight.
Joshua had been angling for a fight against a bigger-named opponent prior to accepting the fight with Ruiz where he was knocked out in the seventh round. Six months later at the rematch, Joshua showed up 10 pounds trimmer while Ruiz was 16 pounds heavier and Joshua made the necessary adjustments to keep Ruiz on the outside and won handily by decision.
For Pulev, the challenge becomes trying to figure out how to replicate Ruiz's success on the inside without walking into a big shot from a more wary Joshua. But with the specter of a superfight and a gigantic payday against Fury looming, Pulev certainly has the possibility of catching the champion off balance and throwing a wrinkle into the heavyweight title unification plans.
How to make Joshua vs. Pulev picks
Kahn has a confident pick that might surprise you, and he's also predicting how long the fight lasts. One of his best bets pays 2-to-1. You can see all his picks and analysis right here.
Who wins Joshua vs. Pulev? What are the three best bets you can make? And how long does it last? Visit SportsLine now to see Peter Kahn's best bets for Saturday, all from the fight game manager who is 27-2 on boxing picks since the sport returned, and find out.