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Hardened boxer Joshua ready for Pulev challenge

Britain’s Anthony Joshua (L) and Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev (R) pose at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on September 11, 2017 during a promotional event for their heavyweight world title boxing match © AFP / Geoff CADDICK

LONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 11Britain’s Anthony Joshua said on Monday he is looking forward to showcasing the lessons he learned from his stunning win over Wladimir Klitschko when he puts his world heavyweight title on the line.

Joshua, 27, will face his IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria under a closed roof at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on October 28 after his hopes of a Las Vegas rematch with Klitschko were ended by the Ukrainian’s retirement.

Joshua won the brutal Wembley clash in April by an 11th-round stoppage after being knocked down earlier in the fight.

He has won all of his 19 bouts to date but he still intends to draw on that memorable contest as he builds towards an expected US debut next year.

“What I went through in my last fight was a new experience,” he told reporters in Cardiff. “I want to show what I have learned from that.

“It is about finesse and outclassing your opponents but if I need to go to war, I will go to war.”

“I’m prepared to go into the trenches,” he added. “But sometimes I can be smart and wise and take an opponent out without taking too much punishment.”

Pulev, 36, lost his only previous world title fight to Klitschko inside five rounds in November 2014.

Joshua, who is also the WBA heavyweight champion, says he is taking nothing for granted ahead of the fourth defence of his IBF title.

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“I learned that sometimes you can watch a million videos of your opponent and prepare for something,” Joshua said at the first press conference to promote the Pulev fight.

“But it is always different when you step into the ring. I always prepare for an improved fighter from what I have seen on video.”

Pulev (25-1) said Joshua should be wary of streetfighting skills he learned in his native Sofia.

“It is not just the ring where I am experienced,” Pulev said. “I have experience on the streets as well, which is another advantage.”

Asked if they were frightening experiences, Pulev replied: “Maybe for my opponents, yes, it was very scary, but for me it was OK.

“Personally, as a man, I love challenges. That’s what makes me very happy. It makes me alive.”

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