Anthony Joshua’s KO win over Kubrat Pulev labelled as ‘strange’ by rival Dillian Whyte

Anthony Joshua was “trapped between two different styles” in his victory over Kubrat Pulev, says Dillian Whyte.

Joshua floored Pulev in the third round but had to wait until the ninth to secure a brutal knockout to retain his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles.

Whyte was at ringside to watch Joshua inch closer to a dream fight with WBC champion Tyson Fury but wasn’t convinced by his old rival.

“It was a strange performance,” Whyte told Sky Sports.

“Don’t get me wrong, he did well. He got the job done.

“But strange because he was like he was trapped between two different styles.

“What got him the victory was going back to the old him and being aggressive.

“It was a good performance but he could have made easier work of it. He let Pulev hang around longer than he needed to.

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“Pulev is a very tough man. I was surprised he got up – but then Joshua let him back into the fight in rounds four, five and six.

“He was having success at mid to close range but kept going to long range for no reason. I didn’t understand.

“Maybe he just wanted to show something different. With the Fury fight, maybe he wanted to show a different side to his game.”

‘Aggression and anger’

Sky Sports’ Carl Froch said about Joshua: “Round three was fantastic. I loved the combinations. He showed aggression and anger.

“He should have then got behind his jab because it sets everything up. If he worked the jab, got into range and put combinations behind the jab, he would have got the job done earlier.

“AJ put together a great finish.

“AJ did take his foot off the gas. He used a lot of energy [in the third round] and he’s a big lad so the oxygen gets swallowed up.

“He slowly recovered in rounds four, five and six while Pulev was still getting hit.

“I’m glad AJ got down to business and gave us the finish that was waiting for him. There was a stage where I was saying: ‘Come on, step on the gas, put the shots together, get the job done.’

“Then AJ doubled up with his uppercuts and closed the show.

“Pulev played his part but AJ was brilliant in bursts. Great early on, then it was a steady fight, then a great finish.”

Johnny Nelson added: “He was trying to box. At times he wasn’t comfortable but he stuck to the plan.

“In the third round when he put the pressure on, that gassed him for two rounds. He got a second wind in round seven and became sharper. He boxed and bashed.

“The only criticism is that AJ didn’t use the jab to rest and put Pulev off balance. I liked his movement, power, patience.”

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