Kubrat Pulev, aging Bulgarian heavyweight, produced an admirable display against young-pup Hughie Fury in an anticlimactic showdown in Sofia last night. The thirty-seven-year-old veteran of the sport systematically wore Fury down and was eventually awarded with a unanimous decision following twelve rounds.
After claiming a cautious first round, Fury felt the might of Pulevs’ vicious jab and in the closing seconds of round two ate up a straight left to the Manchester fighters’ left eye. The gash was wide enough to warrant the attention of the referee, and after a slathering of Vaseline he was deemed fit to continue. The cut was apparently a reopening of a wound suffered in sparring a few weeks ago, which at the time required stitching.
Too Much Hughie, Not Enough Fury
The majority of the following ten rounds fell in favour of the home fighter, with Pulev working hard enough to dominate his visually impaired opponent. Fury entered the third round like a desperate fighter compensating for a battle wound, throwing everything at his foe to try and end the fight and prevent further damage. The aggression was enough to win the round, but the experienced Pulev wasn’t suckered in to a punch-up and managed to patiently outbox his weakened counterpart. With most of both sides’ power punches being millimeters off their desired targets, it was a slow burner and a fight dominated by sporadic jabs, more holding than action and the one-sided scorecards by three out-of-town judges reflected this fairly.
Road To Wembley
Boasting a new resume of 26-1, Pulev recorded his only loss against former world champion Wladimir Klitchko back in 2014. Six fights and six wins later, he has seemingly earned another shot at the title as IBFs’ number one contender and is now considered a viable opponent for world champion Anthony Joshua. AJ is halfway through his two fight Wembley deal and is on course to meet Pulev on the 13th of April 2019, with the winner of that fight poised to face the victor of the upcoming Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury melee in December.
Elsewhere on Saturday evening, exciting prospect Ted Cheeseman took on fellow Brit Asinia Byfield for the British Super Welterweight title. A relentless twelve round performance saw Cheeseman knock Byfield down twice in the fourth and produce a standing ovation worthy display, in which Byfield held on well enough to take it to the scorecards. The lightning fast and aggressive manner in which Cheeseman handled his business saw him claim the vacant British title, which stands him in good stead to compete for a world equivalent probably within the next 18 months.