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Eddie Hearn warns Anthony Joshua not to make the same mistake with sparring again

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Promoter Eddie Hearn has warned Anthony Joshua 23-1 (21) he needs to get his sparring “spot on” for his upcoming fight against Kubrat Pulev 28-1 (14).

The unified heavyweight champion must make a mandatory title defence against Bulgarian Pulev in his next fight although no date has yet been set.

After Joshua lost his WBA, WBO and IBF titles to Andy Ruiz Jr in June last year the quality of sparring was pinpointed as one of the reasons for the loss. The 30-year-old Brit regained the belts in their December rematch.

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Matchroom Boxing boss Hearn doesn’t want to see Joshua make the same mistake again.

“Sparring wise? You need a tall, stand-up fighter who is technically sound,” Hearn told Sky Sports.

“Looking around? The likes of Dominic Breazeale, as an example. A stand-up heavyweight.”

Joshua faced Breazeale in London four years ago, stopping the American in seven rounds.

Hearn continued: “Pulev is very experienced, very good technically, punches a bit. You need to find a tall heavyweight that replicates that style.

“Against Ruiz Jr the second time, they got their sparring spot on. That is so important moving forwards.

“He won’t make that mistake again, of overlooking that element.

“His sparring for Pulev will be spot on.”

Hearn said he is looking to reschedule the Joshua vs Pulev bout before the end of the year.

“We are looking at the first two Saturdays of December,” he said, “But he may be ready to go now!

“He has kept super fit, doing plenty of rounds. I’ve never seen him so invested in improving, and I’ve never seen him so in love with the sport of boxing.

“That’s what gives me so much pleasure and hope. He is constantly evolving.

“Camp starts in a couple of weeks. Maybe move up to Sheffield in September.”

Joshua has an in-principle agreement in place to face WBC counterpart Tyson Fury in two fights in 2021.

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