- Champion Anthony Joshua is the -1000 odds-on favorite to defeat Kubrat Pulev in their Dec. 12 world heavyweight title fight in London
- Challenger Pulev is the +600 underdog
- The total rounds for the 12-round bout is set at 6.5
Champion Heavily Favored
Joshua, 31, will be stepping into the ring for the first time in a year. He reclaimed his title belts from Anthony Ruiz is his last fight. Ruiz had stunningly knocked out Joshua in a fight that had been viewed as nothing more than a tune-up for what was an anticipated unification bout of all the world title belts between Joshua and then champion Deontay Wilder.
Joshua's fight with Pulev is being touted as a tune-up for a potential showdown between Joshua and Tyson Fury, who defeated Wilder to become heavyweight champ earlier this year.
As was the case prior to the first fight with Ruiz, Joshua is being established as a prohibitive favorite in the Joshua vs Pulev odds. The champion is listed as the -1000 chalk to win the fight.
Pulev is a +600 underdog in the betting line. The Bulgarian has won his last eight fights.
Tale Of The Tape
Measuring the two fighters against each other when it comes to physical attributes, every element that would be factored into the boxing odds appears to lean in Joshua's favor. At 31, he's eight years younger than Pulev.
Joshua is 23-1 with 21 knockouts. Pulev is 28-1 with 14 knockouts. At six-foot-six, the champ is two inches taller than the challenger. Joshua also holds an 82-79.5-inch reach advantage over Pulev.
Joshua Won't Be Caught Looking Ahead
The feeling among boxing analysts was that Joshua made the mistake of looking ahead to his potential big payday against Wilder and didn't take his first fight with Ruiz seriously enough. If so, he paid a dear price for that overconfidence and isn't likely to make the same misstep against Pulev. That lesson learned is one of the many reasons he's so heavily favored in the Vegas boxing odds.
Everyone works... not everyone grinds 🎭 pic.twitter.com/n3VMv8tko6— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) December 4, 2020
In the rematch with Ruiz, Joshua displayed a boxer's skill, showing that he could keep his distance from the hard-punching Ruiz and still deliver solid and decisive blows. Expect the same approach against Pulev. Joshua will fight with a measured and controlled style, especially in the early rounds, as he builds up a scorecard advantage over the Bulgarian.
Pulev In With A Puncher's Chance
Critics of Joshua will jump at the loss to Ruiz as evidence that he's got a glass jaw and is susceptible to a power puncher like Pulev. That's all well and good. The problem is that in his recent bouts, all against much lesser opposition, Pulev hasn't proven capable of delivering the knockout blow.
Three of his last four fights have gone the distance. Pulev has scored just two KOs in eight bouts since losing to Klitschko. Pulev does possess a powerful right hand. What he doesn't have is the hand speed of Ruiz, so he'll find it challenging to connect with a telling blow against Joshua.
When Will It End?
BetUS has set 6.5 rounds as the over/under bar for total rounds in this fight. The over play is set at -135 odds, while you'll get a betting line of +105 if you opt to go with an under wager in the Joshua vs Pulev odds.
Sacrificed, hustle paid the price 💯 pic.twitter.com/kyXBvKlFYq— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) December 2, 2020
The over seems to be the wiser play in this instance. As mentioned, it's been a year since Joshua fought. He'll need some time to knock off the ring rust, so expect him to start cautiously, not wanting to give Pulev an opening. But as the Bulgarian tires in the later rounds, expect Joshua to finish him off with a late-round knockout.
Where To Bet On Joshua-Pulev
There are a number of leading online sports betting sites that will provide bettors the chance to place a wager on the Joshua vs Pulev world heavyweight title bout. The best bet you can make is to shop around in advance and seek out the best deal before joining one of these sportsbooks. Check out BetUS and MyBookie as examples.
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Mandatory challenger @KubratPulev enters the bubble as he prepares to attempt to become unified heavyweight World champ next Saturday #JoshuaPulev @skysportsboxing @daznboxing pic.twitter.com/pqWjVok7la— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) December 5, 2020
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