Boxing: War of words erupts at Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev weigh-in for heavyweight title fight

Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has sent a warning to rival Kubrat Pulev, as the pair almost came to blows at the weigh-in for their title showdown.

The pair meet in London on Sunday morning (NZ time), with Joshua's WBA, WBO and IBF belts at stake in the biggest bout since the COVID-19 pandemic halted the sport. 

Both Joshua and Pulev have been rather timid in the lead-up to the fight, throwing out glowing references about why each is a dangerous opponent - but that changed on Saturday.

Looking supremely confident, Pulev hit the scales at 239lb (108kg) for the bout, six pounds lighter than his last fight in November 2019.

Joshua was then heckled by Pulev's entourage, as he weighed in at 240lb, before the two sparred verbally on the podium. 

Despite the pair bumping fists several times, the conversation became heated, as Pulev, nicknamed 'The Cobra', yelled: "Tomorrow, I show you buddy.

"I like you, respect you, but tomorrow I show you, because I am better than you." 

Joshua has told Sky Sports UK he believes he has the measure of the 39-year-old, who has only lost once in 39 fights.

"Many years I’ve been in boxing and seen a lot fighters talk a lot of rubbish, then they get smacked up," Joshua says. "I know what he’s like, I have studied him.

"He thinks he’s a warrior. I said 'don't let the guys you’ve fought gas you up, you’re in with a real one now'."

The bout marks Joshua's first since he regained his titles from Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia last December. 

The full exchange: 

Joshua: "You talk too much, bro. Whoever you’ve been in with, these fighters, you need to get into your head that you’ve got to fight with someone like me."

Pulev: "I respect you, but tomorrow I will show you."

Joshua: "Then humble yourself. Tomorrow we go to war!"

Pulev: "I’m better than you."

Joshua: "Don’t come here running your mouth off."

Pulev: "I respect you, Olympic champion, world champion…"

Joshua: "I don’t care about that. You talk to me."

Pulev: "Tomorrow I will show you, man!"

Joshua: "You talk too much."

Pulev: "I like you, but tomorrow I will show you, because I’m better than you."

Joshua: "Try it, try it. Tomorrow, try it. Tomorrow try your best and we’ll see who the last man standing is."

Pulev: "There is no ‘trying’. Tomorrow I will show you."

Joshua: "For many years in boxing, people like you have been talking."

Pulev: "You know I’m better than you."

Joshua: "You?"

Pulev: "I’m amazing! I’m amazing! Tomorrow I will show you."

Join Newshub for live updates of Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev from 8am Sunday.