Anthony Joshua brands Kubrat Pulev a ‘p***y’ before the pair are separated by security at their weigh-in as intensity cranks up ahead of heavyweight blockbuster showdown at Wembley Arena
- Anthony Joshua faces Kubrat Pulev in world title showdown on Saturday night
- British star took to the scales and weighed-in at 17st 2lbs with Pulev at 17st
- Tension was on a knife’s edge and bubbled over with the pair separated on stage
Anthony Joshua’s weigh-in ahead of Saturday’s fight with Kubrat Pulev descended into an angry confrontation on Friday after the heavyweight champion responded to goading from the Bulgarian by calling him a ‘p***y’.
Following a sedate build-up to the title clash at the SSE Arena, the mood quickly turned as Joshua prepared to step on the scales at the Hilton Hotel.
Pulev was heard to say ‘tomorrow, tomorrow’ repeatedly to Joshua, who then pulled his mask down to call the 39-year-old over.
Tension spilled over at the weigh-ins as Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev clashed
The Bulgarian used the weigh-ins as a final attempt to get inside Joshua’s head
Pulev told AJ he was going to end him and the champion did not take kindly to the remarks
After some heated words they were pulled apart before they briefly attempted to diffuse the situation with a fist pump. After Pulev struck Joshua’s fist aggressively, they began trading insults again.
Pulev shouted ‘I will destroy you,’ according to his brother Tervel, who also got involved in an aggressive confrontation with security when he attempted to cross a cordon to get closer to the fracas.
The Bulgarian challenger also said: ‘I told him that I am ready and that I respect him, he is Olympic and world champion, so I respect him so much.
‘But I am the better boxer and I told him that I will show him tomorrow and he did not like that.
‘His reaction did not surprise me, it was normal, he is the world champion, for now.
Joshua was dragged into a war of words and asked Pulev who he’d beaten before
Joshua’s team were yelling in response to Pulev’s and all hell broke loose on Friday afternoon
‘It’s his last day as world champion. Tomorrow will be different.’
Joshua, who weighed in at 240.8 pounds, three heavier than for his rematch with Andy Ruiz, later said: ‘I don’t know what sparked that. That’s just how we are.
‘He has spoken a lot of rubbish and now he has to back it up.
‘I have seen so many fighters talk a load of rubbish and then get smacked up. If you don’t know boxing then that sort of thing could intimidate you but I could have whacked him up there but I have to save it for tomorrow.
‘I have studied him and he thinks he is a warrior but he is up against a real one now.
‘When people come in the ring with me they are confident but I take their soul away and get them out of there.’
AJ pulled down his mask to respond to Pulev and the security present were on alert
Promoter Eddie Hearn, who earlier in the week said Joshua was more ‘nervous and edgy’ than normal, described how the scenario unfolded. He said: ‘Pulev just kept saying, “tomorrow, tomorrow”, so Joshua went, “What do you mean tomorrow?”
‘Pulev kept talking so Joshua said, “Come over here and say it”. Pulev said again “tomorrow I’ll beat you” and AJ said, “What? You? Disrespect me and I’ll show you” and then he said “You’re a pussy”. They wouldn’t stop.’
Pulev weighed in at 239 pounds.