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Anthony Joshua says he'll have failed if he doesn't knock out Kubrat Pulev

Birmingham Mail logo Birmingham Mail 13/09/2017 James Rodger
Joshua at the press conference ahead of his fight with Kubrat Pulev © Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge Joshua at the press conference ahead of his fight with Kubrat Pulev

Anthony Joshua admits he would class himself as a failure if he did not knock his opponent out.

Joshua defends his IBF and WBA world heavyweight titles against Bulgarian challenger Kubrat Pulev at Cardiff's Principality Stadium on October 28.

The 27-year-old has a perfect 19-0 record, with every victory by way of knockout, and his most recent win came in an epic battle against Wladimir Klitschko in April.

Watch: Joshua - I'll be more relaxed (Sky Sports)

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Joshua stopped the giant Ukrainian in the 11th round at Wembley and he says going the distance is not an option as his career progresses.

"This is heavyweight boxing, you have to knock someone out," Joshua said.

"It always adds value - that's like the cherry on top. No one comes to a boxing match really to watch a 12-round fight.

Credits: Getty Images Europe © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Getty Images Europe

"I would see it as a failure if I didn't do it. It was the same with the Klitschko fight, I had to get him out of there.

"It's not the same leaving it to the judges and that's what makes boxing exciting.

"People are wondering if it's going to go 12 rounds. You get your drink and next minute he's gone, he's been knocked down.

"It's not up to the judges, you've made the decision yourself."

Joshua expected to be facing Klitschko in a Las Vegas autumn rematch after inflicting only the fifth defeat of the former world champion's 69-fight professional career.

But Klitschko's decision to retire from boxing left Joshua looking for a new challenger to dazzle with some finesse.

"You can knock people out without throwing a 10-punch combination," said Joshua, who admits to watching YouTube compilations of himself crushing opponents "once or twice".

"Do it without going through a war and a battle - bang, slip outside the jab, crack.

"It looks perfect on that slo-mo. Punch perfect, that's the type of knock-outs I want.

"It shows your timing is great, you are a puncher in the division and a force to be reckoned with.

"If you can beat a guy with a good record inside three rounds that aura is still intact."

© AP Photo/Albert Cesare

Joshua feels he is working towards a unification showdown with WBC champion Deontay Wilder.

He says the Wilder fight "will be bigger than Klitschko" but promises not to take the 36-year-old Pulev lightly.

Pulev has won 25 of his 26 fights, his only defeat coming when he was stopped by Klitschko inside five rounds in November 2014.

The Bulgarian has a top-three ranking with the WBC and WBO, as well as holding his number one status with the IBF.

Joshua said: "He's a good technical fighter who tries to break you down - the second best name (after Klitschko) I've faced.

"He made mistakes against Klitschko but the man who loses, provided he does not get disheartened, will always come back stronger because they've got a lot more to prove.

"He's waited for this opportunity and he's like the king of Bulgaria, so as long as he puts up a good fight he'll still get credit for it."

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