Anthony Joshua pointed in Kubrat Pulev’s face during a furious exchange of words at the weigh-in for their world heavyweight title fight.
Britain’s WBA, IBF and WBO champion reacted to taunts from Pulev, even before he tipped the scales at 17st 2lbs for Saturday’s fight at The SSE Arena in Wembley, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Security stepped between Joshua and the Bulgarian challenger, who had weighed in at 17st 1lbs, but both fighters then became embroiled in a heated face-off before they were eventually separated on the stage.
Their full argument:
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.
Pulev: I’m amazing! I’m amazing! Tomorrow I will show you.
Joshua reacted to Sky Sports: “I would have clapped him on his jaw, just then.
“But I have to wait til tomorrow.
“I know what he is like. I’ve studied him. He thinks he’s a warrior.
“I said to him: ‘Don’t let the guys that you’ve fought gas you up, you’re against a real one now’.
“When people come in the ring with me, they are confident. After a few rounds their soul is destroyed. Once I see that, I can take him out.
“We are big boys. We punch heavy. First man to land will be the last man standing.”
Joshua was slightly heavier than the 16st 13lbs he had weighed for his rematch victory over Andy Ruiz Jr last December, while Pulev was nine pounds lighter than in his last fight against Rydell Booker.