Is Pulev really that good?


Bulgarian Heavyweight Kubrat Pulev was announced yesterday as the next challenger for Anthony Johsua’s unified world heavyweight titles.

The fight has been scheduled for the 20th June at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and for the 38-year-old, it will not be his first tear up at world level.

Pulev first challenged for the heavyweight belts back in November 2014 against modern day great, Wladimir Klitschko, who had been undefeated for the last 10 years.

Despite a huge effort by the Bulgarian, Pulev was knocked down three times early on in the fight with the latter being the decisive left hook that retained Klitschko his titles.

In August of 2017, Joshua and Pulev were first set to meet at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff in front of over 80,000 people.

But with 12 days to go Pulev pulled out of the fight with an injury and his title shot had gone.

The Bulgarian’s replacement would be 36-year-old and IBF ranked number 3 Carlos Takam, who would go on to lose by TKO in the 10th round to Joshua.

Since his only loss to Klitschko, Pulev has been on a dominant run in the heavyweight division, beating former WBC champion Samuel Peter and former world title challengers Dereck Chisora and Hughie Fury.

Eight successive victories have earned him a shot at Joshua as the IBF mandatory challenger, putting him back amongst the best in the division.

With victories against tough opponents in recent fights, Pulev is more than a worthy mandatory challenger. Steady, yet unspectacular, boxing fans should not underestimate the Bulgarian on June 20th. i

Mike Costello:

“Pulev hurt Klitschko in the first round and hurt him with the jab,”

“He did have a go. He’s beaten Hughie Fury and Derek Chisora which is a sign he belongs close to the elite. For me he is just below that elite rung.

“Joshua can re-establish himself and in the end he just has to win. Then we get on that bandwagon for a fight with Fury later in the year. I am thinking the same December weekend as when Joshua fought Ruiz and, again, in Saudi Arabia.”


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Year 1 student at Solent University studying Sport Journalism. Radio presenter at radio sonar and freelance writer for Prost International

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