Anthony Joshua makes his long-awaited return to action when he defends his world heavyweight belts against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev at Wembley’s SSE Arena on Saturday. Joshua, who has one career defeat to his name, is overwhelming favourite for victory.
There are no set purses for the fight, but it is believed the British world champion will earn in the region of £10 million from the fight.
Pulev, who also has just one defeat on his professional record, is expected to make in the region of £3m.
However, both fighters could exceed those figures as pay-per-view numbers are expected to be higher than normal given the lack of spectators allowed at the event.
Having not fought since winning his belts back in a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jnr in Saudi Arabia on December 7 last year, Joshua has admitted he may be a little rusty.
“That’s what makes this fight so interesting. This year has just thrown every obstacle at us all,” said the 31-year-old. “I might go in there, I can tell you that I’m a million dollars, I feel good, I’ve been knocking everyone out in sparring. I’m the one that’s coming up now and I’m going to be the undisputed champ and I go in there on Saturday night and I [might] get my head punched in because I’ve got ring rust. Who knows?
“But I feel good, I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t boxed in such a long time, but that’s why in lockdown I’ve done a lot of training, mental training. I’ve done a lot of sparring, getting my body tough again, getting punched up.
“Sometimes in sparring in my head I’m going to take this round off and let this boy punch me up because I need to get tough. I need to get that thick skin. That’s the closest way I can prepare and I hope it comes to fruition on Saturday.”
In an exclusive interview with Telegraph Sport, Pulev said: “He’s strong. He has power, and that power is very dangerous. But I am technically better and I think this is very important in this fight. We see a lot of mistakes from Anthony. A lot of bad sides to him. I think these mistakes, and the bad sides, have stayed. When I am good, I beat him well.
“Right now, I feel very good, strong and powerful. Of course, he’s a good fighter, he is very dangerous. But I’m a danger to him, too, because I am very strong. We will see how Joshua performs. I don’t know what to expect from him. It doesn’t matter to me. For me, it’s only important what I do in the ring and how I prepare.”