Kubrat Pulev could earn a title shot against Tyson Fury if he defeats Bogdan Dinu
By Max Warren
Kubrat Pulev (26-1, 13KOs) was slated to face Anthony Joshua for the IBF/WBA World Heavyweight Title in October of 2017, but was forced to pull out of the fight due to injury.
Despite the minor setback, he dominated former world title-challenger Hughie Fury in October last year, earning himself a unanimous decision victory. At 37, Pulev is still in good form and deserves a title shot in the near future.
Last December, Top Rank signed a deal to co-promote Pulev; Saturday night at The Hangar in Costa Mesa, California, will be the first fight for the Bulgarian under the Top Rank banner.
With Top Rank’s recent signing of Lineal Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury, it is likely that Pulev and Fury will square off in the future and perhaps as soon as this year. He is the second-best fighter that Top Rank has options on in the heavyweight division, with Fury standing as the clear front-runner.
But before earning a title shot, Pulev must get past Romanian heavyweight Bogdan Dinu (18-1, 14KOs) in a 10-round main event on ESPN+.
Pulev has won his last six fights since losing to future Hall-of-Famer Wladimir Klitschko in 2014.
Since the loss, he has boasted victories over former heavyweight title challengers Samuel Peter, Hughie Fury, and Derek Chisora. His opponent on Saturday night, Bogdan Dinu, is a quality fighter who gave Jarrell Miller some trouble in his last fight before Dinu was stopped in the 4th.
Expect Pulev to face Fury later on this year for the Lineal Heavyweight Title if he gets past Dinu. He’s a top-10 heavyweight who poses a risk to any fighter within the division. Since fighting Klitschko in 2014, Pulev hasn’t fought in front of an American television audience. Saturday will be the first time in nearly 5 years that U.S. boxing fans will see him in a televised fight.