Published on 13 May 2021 4:22 pm (UK Time)
Wladimir Klitschko (63-3, 53 KO) retained his IBF heavyweight title last night in Hamburg, Germany. He was up against Kubrat Pulev who was the world heavyweight number one contender. Many thought the Bulgarian would prove one of Klitschko’s toughest tests to date.
Kubrat Pulev (20-1, 11 KO) started well, going after the champion. He landed a stiff jab in the first round suggesting he could indeed prove a stern test for the champion.
However, that jab seemed to rile Klitschko in to action. Just a little over a minute into the fight, Klitschko landed a devastating left hook which sent Pulev to the canvas.
Once Pulev rose he was seen to mock the champion as he attempted to recover. His taunts were short lived – he quickly returned to the canvas with another left hook landing from Kltischko, although replays showed it as more of a push than a knockdown.
Pulev survived the round and resorted to dirty tactics by hitting Klitschko repeatedly behind the head before being warned by American referee Tony Weeks.
By the third round Pulev was wobbling once again and on the wrong end of a powerful right hand which cut the Bulgarian below the left eye. He was then dropped for the third time with a left hook.
Pulev appeared to briefly trouble Klitschko with a right hand in the fifth round, but again the champion ended the fight with another crisp left hook.
Referee Tony Weeks quickly waved it off with Pulev showing no signs of beating the count.
I think Pulev was still knocked out in the post-fight presser as he stated:
“Wladimir is a really good opponent, but he was lucky. I want a rematch. I’ll win the next time,”
Pulev said: “There’s luck in boxing. He’s a good boxer but he’s unsporting. There were a lot of tricks.”
Klitschko recorded his 17th straight heavyweight title defense with his win over Kubrat Pulev.
He has made the third-longest series of title defenses in the history of the heavyweight division, behind Joe Louis’ 25 and Larry Holmes’ 20.
Speaking after the fight, Klitschko said;
“To Pulev’s fans I want to say, you have to be sporting, Pulev fought a good fight,” said Klitschko. “It was hard to work, the left jab. Pulev prepared well.”