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AJ FIRED UP Sparks fly as Anthony Joshua weighs in for his heavyweight title showdown

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Anthony Joshua. John Walton/PA Wire.

Anthony Joshua. John Walton/PA Wire.

PA

Anthony Joshua. John Walton/PA Wire.

World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua looked surprisingly unsettled as he weighed in after of ahead of Saturday’s world heavyweight title fight with Kubrat Pulev.

Joshua is usually a vision of calmness ahead od big fights, but he looked agitated as he indulged in some verbal sparring with his opponent.

The pair almost came to blows and twice had to be pulled apart by security, with plenty of words exchanged between the champion and IBF mandatory challenger.

Pulev was first to weigh-in and tipped the scales at 17 stone 1lbs, six pounds lighter than his last bout with Rydell Brooker in November, 2019.

While the Bulgarian was given plenty of vocal support by his team at the back of the room, when Joshua made his way in he was booed by the 39-year-old’s entourage.

Briton’s champion looked irked by the entrance and the continued shouting in his direction by team Pulev before he weighed in at 17 stone 2lbs, slighter heavier than his rival and three pounds more than when he outpointed Andy Ruiz Jr in December, 2019.

Security stepped in to usher away the Bulgarian challenger, who had weighed in at 17st 1lbs, but Joshua then became embroiled in a heated face-off on the stage.

"Many years I’ve been watching boxing and I’ve seen so many fighters talk a lot of rubbish and then they get smacked up," said a steely-eyed Joshua.

"That’s just him doing what fighters do. Unless you study boxing, that type of stuff would intimidate someone. But that doesn’t really intimidate me.

"I would have clapped him in his jaw there and then but I’ve got to do it tomorrow."

Promoter Eddie Hearn insisted his man was not 'rattled' as he tried to explain the confrontation between the duo.

"Pulev just kept saying 'tomorrow, tomorrow' so Joshua went 'What do you mean tomorrow?’" Hearn said.

"Pulev said 'Tomorrow I'm going to beat you and show you'. Pulev kept talking so Joshua said 'Come over here and say it'.

"Pulev said again 'tomorrow I'll beat you' and AJ said 'What? You? Disrespect me and I'll show you' Pulev said 'I respect you' and that dampened it. Pulev then said 'Tomorrow I will beat you, I will finish you, I will end you. You know I'm better than you'."

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