Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev Betting Preview (December 12, 2020)

| November 23, 2020 11:38 am PDT

Anthony Joshua’s odds to beat Kubrat Pulev makes him a steady betting favorite ahead of the heavyweight title clash this December 12 at London’s O2 Arena.

Joshua makes his return to competitive action one year on from avenging a shock loss to Andy Ruiz in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. It’s his first fight on home soil since beating Alexander Povetkin by TKO in Wembley back in August 2018.

Bulgaria’s Pulev fights for the first time in Britain and takes a 27-1 record into the ring. He has finished 14 of his previous opponents.

Joshua puts his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles on the line. The Brit, who has a 23-1 record with 21 KOs, is expected to beat his opponent well. But the same was said about Ruiz in the first fight, and we all know what happened there.

Today, I’m breaking this fight down for anyone betting on Joshua vs. Pulev. First, I’ll be choosing my winner from these two. Then, I’ll be looking at the odds for the fight, as well as the best bets to place on Joshua vs. Pulev. Naturally, I’ll look to finish things off with a little detail about why I see the fight going a particular way.

So, If that all sounds good, keep reading.

Joshua vs. Pulev – Who Wins?

  • Anthony Joshua by KO/TKO

Although I don’t see this being an easy fight for Joshua, I believe he should have too much for Pulev.

The Bulgarian might start strong, but I believe the champ will hold his composure and look to gradually wear him down as the rounds go on. Pulev is not known as an explosive fighter or prolific finisher, and that will give Joshua the license to eventually pursue a more aggressive approach.

More on this a bit later. First, let’s have a look at the line for Joshua vs. Pulev.

Joshua vs. Pulev Latest Odds

Anthony Joshua to Win-1200
Kubrat Pulev to Win+700

Joshua’s odds to beat Pulev come in at -1200 with Bovada.

This is a good price among the best boxing betting sites, but feel free to compare odds across our recommended sites by hitting the link above. Some sportsbooks will have different markets for this fight, too, so make sure to compare them also.

As for Joshua’s moneyline odds? Well, we’re used to seeing the Watford-native open as a heavy favorite against his opponents. But his price does tend to get much worse the closer you get to the fights, so don’t expect -1200 to get much better.

If you are betting on Joshua to beat Pulev, it might be better to take his odds sooner rather than later.

Pulev’s odds, on the other hand, will likely improve closer to fight night.

Of course, there will be a fair few bettors looking at Pulev’s odds as they are, licking their lips at the prospect of Joshua suffering another shock loss. And it’s only fair to expect that some will be trying to cash in on a Ruiz-esque payday.

Is backing the Bulgarian to pull off an upset something to consider in this fight? The short answer is yes. Pulev is no bum. He’s lost one fight in his career, to all-time great Wladimir Klitschko in 2014. Other than that, he has come out on top in every other fight he has had as a pro.

But other than Wlad, has he ever fought anyone close to Joshua’s caliber? I don’t think so. Thus, I am not mega keen on his chances in this fight.

Here’s what I’m thinking.

Best Joshua vs. Pulev Bets

  • Joshua to Win by KO/TKO (-278)
  • Joshua to Win in Rounds 7 to 12 (+188)
  • Joshua to Win in Round 8 (+850)

Joshua to Win by KO/TKO (-278) is the first bet I would consider in this fight.

Sure, Pulev has proven himself to have a solid chin over the years. But against the likes of Maurice Harris, Samuel Peter, Hughie Fury, and Bogdan Dinu.

Against Joshua, he is coming up against a premier heavyweight in his prime that has sparked out fighters much better than those named above.

Joshua to Win in Rounds 7 to 12 (+188) is a really good bet, in my opinion.

This is Joshua’s first fight since beating Ruiz. It will be the first time in his career that he has fought in a stadium without fans. For someone used to feeding off the adrenalin of tens of thousands of adoring fans, it’ll take some getting used to.

Knowing that the wrong approach could see him in trouble, expect Joshua to start off cautiously before pushing the pressure from the 7th round onwards.

Joshua to Win in Round 8 (+850) is another bet to look at.

I think this will be the optimal round for Joshua. The one where he has Pulev where he wants him and will go for the kill accordingly. The first round of the final third of the fight, where the Brit will back himself to deliver a stoppage for his fans.

That’s my take on the best Joshua vs. Pulev bets. Now, allow me to explain why I’m confident about AJ beating Pulev.

Why Joshua Beats Pulev

Although it might not sound significant, Anthony Joshua’s two-inch height and reach advantages might play a bigger part in the early stages of this fight.

In May 2019, Joshua suffered a humiliating defeat to the seriously underrated Ruiz. Yes, he bounced back to outbox Ruiz to an impressive unanimous decision win, but questions still hang over the Olympic gold medalist.

Joshua has the right people in his corner. They are smart enough to know that steaming in against Pulev to make a point isn’t the right way to go about things. Too much early aggression will be counterproductive to the Brit’s aim of registering a clean, confidence-boosting performance that will stand him in good stead for a future contest. So, expect a feeling out process for the first couple of rounds.

With that said, he has to find the right balance of aggression. Pulev will work off his jab and aim to cut inside to cause damage without picking up any damage of his own on the way in or out. Joshua has to ensure that his path inside is full of booby traps and smart shots that will make him think twice about coming in.

I don’t think Joshua will fear taking Pulev on in the center of the ring. He doesn’t have the type of power that will cause him the same kind of trouble that Ruiz did. Still, he has to be careful not to allow him the space to prove him wrong.

Ultimately, I see very little threat to Joshua here. Pulev, although a very solid workhorse of a heavyweight, lacks the pop to throw Joshua off his game.

My prediction for Joshua vs. Pulev is a commanding performance that ends in an 8th round KO/TKO for the Brit.

Other Fights to Bet On Like Joshua vs. Pulev

I see Anthony Joshua making it two wins from his last two fights when he takes on Kubrat Pulev on December 12 in London.

Pulev will be confident of testing Joshua on the night, but I feel he lacks the type of devastating power that will keep his opponent from taking over. Instead, Pulev should be out of there by the eight-round.

Strangely enough, this fight won’t be the only one to look forward to in December. There are some awesome boxing and MMA bouts that are signed, sealed, and ready to go. There is also one super fight that could happen IF Joshua wins this fight.

So, if you’re interested in more bets, you should check out the following.

Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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