ANTHONY JOSHUA went whack to the future – playing the Rocky theme with two clips of his hand-speed as a youth and now.
AJ’s rat-a-tat rhythm contrasted with the slower pounding of the iconic boxing movie tune.
But then and now he showed the same speedball routines that helped take the 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight king to the top as both an amateur and pro.
Joshua has of course piled on the muscle since then, particularly in recent weeks, with ripped shots of him almost bursting out of tops.
And he was snapped “accidentally” bumping into Tyson Fury in Marbella in a taut white T-shirt, suggesting he will be much bulkier against Pulev than he was in dethroning his only ever conqueror Andy Ruiz last December.
By coincidence, Muhammad Ali was also in his second reign as world heavyweight champ when the first Rocky film came out in 1976.
But it was AJ’s maturity rather than movie-style heroics that impressed most when he dismantled Ruiz for revenge.
Hearn told Sky Sports: “Sparring wise? You need a tall, stand-up fighter who is technically sound.
“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.”
Proving AJ overcomes Pulev as so expected, he could then be eyeing two battles with fellow Brit and WBC champ Tyson Fury.
Doubling up might sound dramatic. But they do say Creed is good.