Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is starting work ahead of his title defense against Kubrat Pulev in December, but some fans are wondering if the footage showing a laborious uppercut should throw off his opponent.
Joshua’s fight against the Bulgarian Pulev has been postponed for the end of the year after being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic outbreak earlier this year. The English defending champion of WBO, WBF and IBO hopes to convert the win in this fight into a winner – all “Battle of Britain” with Tyson Fury in 2021.
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The footage posted by Matchroom Boxing on Twitter shows a torn Joshua working the pads while drilling a combination of right overcut and left hook – but some fans wonder if the glimpse into his techniques is meant to throw off his future opponents , based on the somewhat telegraphed nature of the strikes.
Some fans were amazed at Joshua’s strength and physique, others wondered if the Brit was actually trying to troll the online boxing community, and one even suggested that his sparring looked more like ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith than one Elite heavyweight athletes.
When did you ever see AJ throw such an uppercut? Even Stevie Wonder can see it coming! The man is trolling and I bet twitter bites !! https://t.co/AiadHFb08H
– Fight Disciples (@FightDisciples) September 22, 2020
There have been other mixed reactions online. One fan stated, “This is why Anthony Joshua is the greatest boxer of all time” while another was less convinced and described the clip as “slow and awkward”.
Meanwhile, Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, says the clash with Pulev will happen in December, but will take place behind closed doors. Hearn was central to the return of boxing to the UK this summer, hosting a series of events on the grounds of his family estate in Essex.
However, plans for fans to attend upcoming events were dashed on Tuesday when the UK government announced it was withdrawing plans to allow moderated indoor events to the general public.
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“Obviously, today’s announcement is a huge challenge for anyone in the sport,” Hearn told the Daily Mail.
“Our intention now is to continue all planned events.
“It is clear that finances are affected by the fact that there are no crowds, not even smaller ones, but we are working to keep our schedule. That includes Joshua. You have two options – cancel or continue, possibly without the crowd.
“You would still hope to have some (fans) back by December, but you can’t plan that now. We’ll be doing it for Joshua in December because it’s been a year since he fought Andy Ruiz and he did needs to fight. “