[Live coverage has concuded]
12:36am - Joshua thanks the fans for showing up: "I hope everyone enjoyed that. More action, less talk. I stuck with what I know best and put my shots together tonight.
"If Tyson Fury has the belt, then I want to fight him. But I don't care of he's next, I just want to take it one fight at a time."
Eddie Hearn: "We know what we have to do. Starting tomorrow, we will be doing everything we can to make the fight with Tyson Fury."
Wrap - Great show put on by Anthony Joshua against a tough, dangerous veteran. He was never in trouble, and dominated Pulev in all but one round. He dropped him twice in the second, and tthe coasted through the middle rounds before ending the fight violently in the ninth. #andstill. Up next for AJ ... well hopefully Tyson Fury, but we will see how it all plays out.
WBA, WBO and IBF Heavyweight titles: Anthony Joshua (23-1) v Kubrat Pulev (28-1)
Result: Anthony Joshua beats Kubrat Pulev via TKO - Round 9
Round 9 - Left to the body lands for Pulev. AJ pawing out his jab. Nice jab lands for AJ. Pulev whiffs on a huge right hand. Double jab lands for AJ. Big left hook lands for AJ...Pulev eats it. Another heavy left hook lands for AJ... Pulev eats that one too. Uppercut scores for Joshua followed by two more. Right uppercut rocks Pulev ... three more big shots and Pulev is down again. Pulev back up. Joshua puts him back down with a dynamite right hand and the referee has seen enough. Fight over!
Round 8 - Double jab lands for AJ. Pulev throws a leaping left hook but misses. Referee warning both fighters for hitting late after he breaks them. Pulev lands a solid right hand that back AJ up. Joshua replies with two hooks that are blocked. Pulev lands a right in the clinch. Two jabs to the body land for Joshua. Pulev looks for the hook but AJ isn't there. Pulev coming on strong now ... looks the fresher fighter. AJ ties up Pulev. Long jab lands for AJ. Body shot lands for AJ as the round ends. Close. Newshub score: Pulev 10-9.
Round 7 - AJ looks composed as we begin the second half of the fight. Long jab lands for AJ. Left hook right hook thrown by AJ, but blocked by Pulev. AJ throws a big right overhand but it's blocked by Pulev. Lead left hook lands for AJ. Pulev throws a big right but misses. AJ doubles up on the jab and follows with three big uppercuts but Pulev survives. The Bulgarian laughing at the champ. Shot to the body lands for AJ. Nice long left lands for Pulev and he follows with a heavy right, but AJ is okay. Newshub score: Joshua 10-9.
Round 6 - Pulev will need to clean sweep the next seven rounds or score knockout. Pulev misses on a big right hand. AJ pawing with his jab. Pulev cominbg forward and lands a nice short left hook. Stiff jab lands for AJ. Pulev whiffs on a right hand. Pulev warned for punching the back of the head. AJ lands a nice heavy jab. Joshua follows a stiff jab with a lovely long right hand. Newshub score: Joshua 10-9.
Round 5 - Jab to the body lands for Pulev. Lead uppercut misses for AJ. Double jab lands for AJ. Joshua whiffs on a left hook. Pulev gets in close but can't land. Nice jab lands for AJ. Left hook and right hand from AJ snaps back Pulev's head. AJ back behind his jab and looking solid. Pulev throws a hard right that is blocked by AJ. Newshub score: Joshua 10-9.
Round 4 - AJ out with a sharp jab and follows with a big right hand that Pulev eats. Pulev throws an overhand that glances AJ on the jaw. Jab lands for AJ. Pulev looks to have his legs back. Pulev lands a shot to the body in the clinch. AJ taking the round off a bit. Pulev whiffs on a big right hand. Right hand lands for AJ as the round ends. Close. Newshub score: Pulev 10-9.
Round 3 - Pulev leaps in with a hook but AJ ties him up. AJ backs out of forward pressure from Pulev ... nice movement from the champ. Long right hand is blocked by Pulev. Joshua ducks under a hook and lands a big shot on Pulev who backs up. Pulev laughs him off as AJ is in for the kill. Pulev is backing up and the referee counts a stafnding eight. Joshua right on him and drops him with a huge uppercut. Pulev back up at seven. Joshua showing composure and lands a late left hook after the bell. Great round from AJ and the ref could have stopped it when Pulev turned his back. Newshub score: Joshua 10-7.
Round 2 - AJ lands a nice jab out of the shoot. Pulev throws a loaded right but whiffs. AJ lands to the body. Stiff jab lands for the champ. Nice combo from AJ ... mostly blocked by Pulev, but good speed from the champ. Jab lands for Joshua. Pulev misses a leaping left hook. Stiff jab lands for Pulev... Joshua counters with a nice jab himself. Hard jab to the body lands for AJ. Newshub score: Joshua 10-9.
Round 1 - The fighters touch gloves and we are underway. Feeling out process...both guys throwing feints. Body shot to the body attempted by Pulev. Jab lands for AJ and another. Pulev misses on a left hook. Joshua lands a jab but whiffs on a right hand. Left hook blocked by Pulev. Nice jab lands for AJ. Right hand blocked by Pulev. Not much to talk about in that round. Newshub score: Joshua 10-9.
11:49am - Ring intruductions underway ... both guys like super calm.
11:48am - Joshua coming out to the theme song for Rocky III ... nice.
11:42am - AJ is wearing all white as he makes his way out to the arena.
11:39am - Here we go with the ring-walks ... Pulev makes his way out wearing his national colours.
11:38am - Floyd Mayweather in the house.
11:33am - Still we wait as we go through the pre-hype stuff. Sweet Caroline is playing over the loud speaker, so we are getting super close.
11:28am - The big question surrounding Joshua is can he take Pulev's best punch. The Brits chin strength has always been the doubt. Dropped by Klitschko, rocked by Whyte and Pulev and dropped four times by Ruiz. If Joshua can avoid the big punching power of the Bulgarian, he should walk out with the belts. Only time will tell.
11:25am - Closing in on ring walk time.... just a bit of pre-fight prep going on in London at the mo.
11:15am - Next up is 12 rounds in the heavyweight division for the WBA, WBO and IBF titles as Anthony Joshua defends against Kubrat Pulev.
11:12am - Mr Okolie is one impressive fighter. Power, speed and technical expertise... he is a genuine star in the making.
Cruiserweight bout: Lawrence Okolie (14-0) v Nikodem Jezewski (19-0-1)
Result: Lawrence Okolie via TKO Round 2.
Round 2 - Okolie comes out firing to open the round. Lands a nice right uppercut. Jezewski lands a big left hook but Okolie shakes it off. Body shot lands for Okolie. Heavy right lands for Okolie and Jezewski is down again and the referee waves it off.
Round 1 - Okolie is a big favourite and is a future heavyweight prospect. Feeling out process to start. Okolie looking for body jabs. Right hook to the body lands and Jezewski takes a knee for an eight count. Back to the action and Okolie lands a huge right hand that rocks Jezewski but he recovers quickly. Right hand and Jezewski is down again. Okolie to the body and then the head again put Jezewski on rubber legs, but he survives the round. Newshub score: Okolie 10-8.
11:02am - This is the last bout before the main event
10:51am - A very focused Anthony Joshua, while Kubrat Pulev is ready for battle.
10:48am - I've watched several Hughie Fury fights and that's as good as he has ever looked. Aggressive, tough and technically ugly in he Fury style. Should get back towards the top 10 after that.
Heavyweight bout - Hughie Fury (24-3) v Mariusz Wach (36-6)
Result: Hughie Fury bt Mariusz Wach via unanimous decision (100-90x2, 99-91)
Newshub fight score: Fury 99-91
Round 10 - Final three minutes. Jab lands for Fury and he follows with a big right hand. Wach coming in hot but Fury is game to trade. Left lands for Fury as does a right hand. Straight left lands for Fury and he follows with a right and another. Double jab lands for Fury. Wach lands a nice left hook. Wach whiffs on a right and has his head snapped back by a Fury jab. Left hook lands for Fury. Fury avoids a big right from Wach and fires back with a couple of big punches himself. Nice short right hand lands for Fury. Fury swings for the femces and clubs Wach with a right . Big left lands for Fury as the fight ends. Great performance from Hughie Fury. Newshub score: Fury 10-9.
Round 9 - Two rounds to go... Hughie Fury in complete control. Nice jab lands for Fury. Fury lands a heavy left hand from southpaw. Short right lands for Fury as Wach whiffs on a right. Nice right hand lands for Wach. Left hook lands for Fury. Fury throws a big right that grazes Wach. Body shot lands for Fury. Lovely counter left to the body lands for Fury. Jab lands for Fury followed by a nice combo. Right hand - left hook lands for Fury. Double jab lands for Fury. Newshub score: Fury 10-9.
Round 8 - Fury looks super confident. He lands a stiff right hand off the back of a double jab. Jab lands for Fury. Overhand right just misses for Fury. Wach fires a flurry but Fury blocks most of those punches. Fury lands a one-two. Lead left hook lands for Wach... nice punch. Short right lands for Fury. Straight left from southpaw lands for Fury. Wach lands a big right hand but Fury rolled with it. Jab lands for Fury. One-two lands for Fury. Newshub score: Fury 10-9.
Round 7 - Fury lands a heavy clean right hand to open the round. Slapping hook lands hard for Fury ... Wach shakes it off. Stiff jab lands for Fury. He looks great. Big right hand over the top just misses. Lovely combination lands for Fury. Straight right lands for Fury. Another combo lands for Fury. Jab lands for Fury. He's picking Wach apart. Stiff jab again lands for Fury. Wach whiffs on a right. Double jab lands for Fury. Fury whifffs on a fight-ending right hand. Newshub score: Fury 10-9.
Round 6 - Still a chance the cut may stop this at some point. And the doctor wants a look. Fight continues. Jab lands for Fury. Short right lands for Fury in close. Wach lands a stiff jab. Right hand lands for Fury. The Brit doubles up on his jab and lands a straight right behind it. jab lands for Fury, Big right hand lands for Fury. Double jab lands for Fury. Big right hand over the top lands for Fury. Double jab again from Fury as Wach whiffs on a right. Jab lands for Fury. Newshub score: Fury 10-9.
Round 5 - Right hand - left hook lands for Wach. Fury backs Wach up with a flurry. Wach lands a short right. Fury with a short right lands. Fury in Wach's face again with pressure and jabs. Left hook lands for Fury in close. Short uppercut lands for Fury. Big right hands lands for Fury. Wach lands a nice combo as Fury rushes in again. Big right lands for Fury. Fury lands a right over the top. Wach lands a stiff right as the round ends. Newshub score: Wach 10-9.
Round 4 - Big right hand lands for Fury and Wach is hurt. Fury backs him up in the corner and lands a nice combo. Wach recovers, but Fury still in his face. Nice one-two for Fury. Another big right lands for Fury... Wach replies with a right. Fury is cut badly over his left eye. Referee stops the action to have a look. Back underway and Fury ups his aggression. Heavy left hand from southpaw lands for Fury. he's overwhelming Wach. Newshub score: Fury 10-9. Cut came from a headbutt.
Round 3 - Fury really rushing Wach. Fight being fought in the clinch, Fury lands a nice one-two. Right hand lands for Fury. Jab from southpaw lands for Fury. Right hand lands for Fury as Wach counters with a powerful short right, Overhand right lands for Fury. Body shot for Wach as Fury lands a straight left from southpaw. Right hand over the top lands for Fury, Ugly fight at the moment .... lots of clinch work. Right hands lands for Wach over the top as the round ends. Close agan. Newshub score: Fury 10-9.
Round 2 - Shovel body uppercut lands for Wach. Fury lands a heavy right over the top of Wach's defence. Jab lands for Wach and a straight right. Right hand lands in the clinch for Fury. Another short right lands for Fury. Fury very busy. Right hand lands for Fury. Jab lands for Fury and a heavy overhand right. Uppercut lands for Wach. Short right hand lands for Fury. He's really pushing a fast pace. Right hook in close lands for Fury. Wach lands a straight right. Left hook lands for Wach and a right. Close round. Newshub score: Fury 10-9.
Round 1 - Both these guys are enormous humans. Fury to the body early and is landing several body shots. Fury lands a jab followed by a straight right. Right hand in the clinch lands for Wach.. Double jab lands for Wach. Fury throws a heavy short right hand as he pushes Wach back to the ropes. Double shot to the body lands for Fury but Wach counters with an overhand right and then a body shot. Newshub score: Fury 10-9 but it was close.
9:50am - The champ and challenger are in the house.
9:49am - Fair result that. Two very skilled heavyweights and Bakole will jump into the top 10 of the WBC and top 15 of the WBO with that win. Don't be surprised if his name is thrown out as a potential future opponent of Joseph Parker. if the Kiwi gets by Junior Fa.
WBC International Heavyweight title - Martin Bakole (15-1) v Sergey Kuzmin (15-1)
Result: Martin Bakole bt Sergey Kuzmin via unanimous decision (98-92, 97-93, 96-94)
Newshub fight score: Bakole 96-94
Round 10 - Final round. Close fight. Bakole lands a short left hook. Kuzmin lands a snapping right that rocks Bakole's head back ... he looks fine. Overhand right lands for Kuzmin. Stiff jab lands for Bakole.. Kuzmin counters with a heavy left. Bakole to the body with a nice combination. Jab lands for Kuzmin. Jab lands for Bakole. Left hook for Kuzmin lands. Jab for Bakole. Heavy jab lands for Bakole as the bell ends the fight. Newshub score: Kuzmin 10-9
Round 9 - Kuzmin needs these final two rounds on my scorecard to force a draw. Jab lands for Bakole and another. Kuzmin whiffs on a big right. Double jab lands for Bakole. Bakole avoids a big right from Kuzmin. Jab lands for Bakole. Kuzmin lands a heavy right but it's parried by Bakole. Jab lands for Bakole and another heavy one. Left hook lands for Kuzmin. Close round. Newshub score: Bakole 10-9.
Round 8 - Nice combination for Kuzmin to open the round as he goes body-body-head. Overhand lands for Bakole. Kuzmin lands on a right hook. Kuzmin pushing the pace now and lands a couple shots inside. Kuzmin lands a hook on the inside. Short uppercut lands for Bakole. Newshub score: Kuzmin 10-9.
Round 7 - Jab lands for Bakole but Kuzmin replies with a straight right counter. Kuzmin misses a huge overhand ... loaded up and missed badly. Bakole back to his jab and is winning the distance game again. Both guys have slowed down. Jab lands for Bakole and a left shovel uppercut. Jab to the vody lands for Bakole. Bakole avoids to big hooks from Kuzmin. Newshub score: Bakole 10-9.
Round 6 - Jab to the body lands for Kuzmin. Kuzmin whifffs on a heavy big right. Jab lands for Bakole. Lead left lands for Bakole and a big left hook to follow. Slower pace to this round. Body shot lands for Bakole. Couple jabs land for Bakole. Left hook lands for Kuzmin but he whiffs on the right. Newshub score: Bakole 10-9.
Round 5 - Nice combination to open the round for Kuzmin. Uppercut lands for Bakole but he whiffs on a big left. Another uppercut lands for Bakole. Heavy right and a left hook lands for Kuzmin. Body shot lands for Bakole. Right hand in close lands for Kuzmin. He's closed that distance and getting reward. Body shot lands for Bakole as Kuzmin counters with a jab. Nice left lands for Bakole as Kuzmin fired two crisps right hands. Bakole land a heavy jab to Kuzmin's body. Great round. Newshub score: Kuzmin 10-9.
Round 4 - Bakole fires that heavy lead left hook again but it's parried. Jab lands for Bakole and another. Kuzmin land a one-two Bakole's jaw but he's not hurt. Double jab to the body lands for Bakole. Heavy jab lands for Bakole. Straight right lands for Bakole and a heavy long right hook. Left lands for Kuzmin as he breaks the guard of Bakole. Left hook. right straight lands for Kuzmin and he may have just one his first round. Newshub score: Kuzmin 10-9.
Round 3 - Kuzmin fires a heavy right off his jab but can't connect. Double jab to the body lands for Bakole. Jab lands for Bakole.Double jab again from Bakole. Lead left lands for Bakole ... Kuzmin replies with a jab himself. Left hook misses for Kuzmin. Bakole controlling the distance. Jab lands for Bakole and a big right that Kuzmin shakes off. Easy round for Bakole. Newshub score: Bakole 10-9.
Round 2 - Nice jab out of the shoot for Bakole. Uppercut is blocked by Kuzmin and he replies with a heavy right. Bakole lands the uppercut this time and a heavy right to the body followed by another. bakole battering Kuzmin with combinations but Kuzmin replies with a heavy right himself. Great exchange. Right touches Kuzmin but he counters with a jab. Big left hook lands for Bakole and he follows with a jab. Short uppercut lands for Bakole. Big right hand lands for Kuzmin but Bakole shakes it off. Newshub score: Bakole 10-9.
Round 1 - Almost set to get underway. Both these guys have one loss to their name against American contender Michael Hunter. Kuzmin the bigger man and looking to impose himself early with forward pressure. A couple of jabs to the body lands for Bakole. Kuzmin backs Bakole up with a double jab. Bakole continues to work the body. Two jabs to the dome land for Bakole. Overhand right lands for Bakole ... Kuzmin shakes it off. Lunging left hook lands for Bakole and a long jab. Kuzmin doubles up on the jab and lands a slapping right hand. Bakole finishes the round with a lead left hook. Newshub score - Bakole 10-9.
8:54am - Two hulking heavyweights set to do battle next.
8:48am - Undercard bout: Super welterweight - Kieron Conway bt Macauley McGowan via unanimous decision
8:45am - LOL. 0-0 it finished in the Manchester derby
8:42am - Former Joseph Parker oppoenent - Hughie Fury - fighting later this morning.
8:12am - Here is the 'Tale of the Tape' for the main event.
8:04am - Mr Marku not a happy chappy after being robbed of hs perfect record.
7:55am - Controversy over the scoring of the first fight of the morning. Florian Marku clearly the better fighter, dropping Stewart in the second round, and dominating almost the entire fight. Somehow the sole judge (referee) has found a draw - just inept and yet again, British boxing judging under the microscope.
7:52am - Undercard bout - Lightweight: Florian Marku (7-0) fought Jamie Stewart (2-0) to a draw.
7:50am - 1000 fans will be allowed into the arena in London.
Hello fight fans and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the first heavyweight title fight since the global COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year.
Brit Anthony Joshua defends his WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight straps against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev, in front of a social distanced crowd of 1000 fans at Wembley Arena in London.
Joshua (23-1) fights for the first time since he regained the titles against Mexican-American Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia last December. That came just a few months removed from the 31-year-old's shock loss to Ruiz Jr in New York, when 'AJ' was stopped in the seventh round in one of the biggest upsets in heayweight boxing history.
Pulev is 28-1 in his career, with the sole loss coming against former heavyweight kingpin Wladimir Klitschko back in 2014. The 6ft4 power puncher is riding a eight-fight win streak, dispatching the likes of Hughie Fury and Derek Chisora along the way.
Pulev has had a slightly longer layoff from the ring, last fighting - and beating - Rydell Booker in a 10-round unanimous decision in November 2019.
It's hoped a win for either will lead to a unification bout against Tyson Fury in early 2021, who hasn't fought since ending Deontay Wilder's undefeated record in February.
TAB Odds: Anthony Joshua - $1.07, Kubrat Pulev $7.00
- Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev
- Lawrence Okolie vs. Krzysztof Glowacki
- Hughie Fury vs. Mariusz Wach
- Martin Bakole vs. Sergey Kuzmin
- Souleymane Cissokho vs. Kieron Conway
Exclusive - Anthony Joshua welcomes rematch with Joseph Parker, promises violent ending
Anthony Joshua would be honoured to share the ring again with Joseph Parker - but sends an ominous warning to the Kiwi heavyweight.
As the Brit prepares for his first bout of 2020, the division continues to be convoluted, with contenders doing their talking outside the ring.
When the COVID-19 pandemic brought a halt to sport, boxing suffered as much as any - specifically the heavyweight division, which seemed on course to crown an undisputed champion this year.
But only a handful of the top 15 have stepped inside the ring this year, leaving the division virtually stagnant.
That changes on Sunday (NZ time), when Joshua defends his WBO, IBF and WBA titles against 1.95m (6ft 4in) Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in London.
A win for Joshua would hopefully lead to a unification bout with WBC champion Tyson Fury early next year, finally giving the heavyweight division a first unified champion, since Lennox Lewis in 1999.
In the mix to spoil that plan is former WBO champion Parker, who is set to fight Junior Fa in February or March 2021.
The 28-year-old came up short against Joshua in 2018, although he remains the only man 'AJ' has failed to drop in 22 fights.
Speaking exclusively to Newshub, Joshua says he holds huge respect for Parker and wouldn't be shocked to see him earn another title title shot within the next 12 months.
But Joshua says the outcome would be the same - just more violent.
"I like Joseph - he's a good man, " Joshua tells Newshub. "That was a technical fight, where I wanted to show off my boxing skills and I never quite created the opportunity to 'sleep' him.
"He has a great team behind him over there - a great trainer - and he's dangerous and super quick, but if we fought again, I would knock him out.
"But much respect to Joe and I hope I will see him again soon."
Before that, though, Joshua must overcome the stiff challenge of Pulev, who has just one defeat in 29 fights.
That came in 2014 against Wladimir Klitschko and since then, the 39-year-old has won eight straight fights, beating contenders Hughie Fury, Derek Chisora and Kevin Johnson.
Joshua is well aware of the challenge before him, but plans on leaving London as he entered - the champion.
"I want to be the unified champion and to do that I have to beat Kubrat. This is a tough fight - he's lost once in 11 years and beaten some top guys.
"But I've made a lot of changes - both mentally and physically - since New York [loss to Andy Ruiz] and I feel very confident that I will get the job done."
After that, Joshua hopes to fight Fury, but the murky waters of the heavyweight division are likely to throw up another curveball or two.
Regardless, Joshua's focus is simple - to be the best.
"That fight will be the biggest in the history of UK boxing," Joshua tells Newshub. "It will be big all over the world, but we both have to keep winning to make it happen.
"I want to fight Tyson and I'm pretty sure he wants to fight me, so we will see what happens.
"The boxing world needs an undisputed heavyweight champion."