Kubrat ‘The Cobra’ Pulev and Tony ‘The Tiger’ Thompson meet in Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, on August 24 in an IBF heavyweight title eliminator. The winner will get the opportunity to fight for the IBF heavyweight title, which is currently held by Ukrainian, Wladimir Klitschko.
Pulev (17-0-0, 9 KO’s), is steadily making a real name for himself in the boxing World. The Bulgarian is a former medallist at both the European and World amateur Championships, and has shown how talented and skilful he is in a short pro career. Pulev has some notable victories over Matt Skelton, Derrick Rossy, Travis Walker and Michael Sprott, but knows that this is his sternest test to date. The 32-year-old, though, is favourite to topple Thompson, but experience and momentum is on the American’s side. Pulev has not fought since September 2012, but he is not short of confidence and believes he has the tools to defeat the veteran. This is certainly the biggest fight of Pulev’s career and he knows that he cannot afford any slip ups.
Thompson (38-3-0, 26 KO’s), who has fought Wladimir Klitschko for World titles on two occasions before in 2008 and 2012, has had an incredible 2013 so far.
The veteran southpaw, who turn 42 this October, twice traveled to the Echo arena, Liverpool, U.K, and twice upset the odds with victory over reigning British and Commonwealth champion, David Price. Thompson silenced the home faithful first in February after dropping Price hard in the 2nd round which forced the referee to stop the fight. In July, the American repeated that feat. Like the first fight, Price started the contest well, but this time Price’s energy levels quickly evaporated and he was out on his feet in the 5th round. On August 24, Thompson will again be on foreign soil. He is extremely confident and believes he can make it a hat-trick of upset wins.
I am picking Pulev to beat Thompson, but I know that Thompson is more than capable of causing another upset. The American may be nine years older than his Bulgarian opponent, but that is nine more years worth of experience that you just cannot buy.
This is Pulev’s chance to shine and I think he will.