A very interesting and potentially exciting heavyweight match-up has been set, one that will contest the EBU title the unbeaten Robert Helenius has just vacated. Once-beaten Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev will meet experienced Brit Dereck Chisora at a date and venue still to be determined.
Helenius, fresh off a December win over Franz Rill – a points victory that saw him take the EBU title that had been stripped from Erkan Teper due to Teper failing a post-fight drugs test after his KO win over David Price – opted to vacate the European crown to concentrate on his world title ambitions. So, Pulev, 22-1(12) and two wins removed from his November 2014 stoppage loss to then world heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko, will face well-travelled Brit Chisora, 25-5(17) and four wins removed from his stoppage loss to reigning heavyweight boss Tyson Fury, in what should be a an entertaining battle.
Pulev has not seen any dent in his confidence since the loss to Klitschko and the Bulgarian said he would be fighting for a title by the spring of 2016. Now he will do so, against Chisora, who has signed with Sauerland and retains ambitions of the highest level himself. Who wins this intriguing clash?
Pulev is the older man at age 34, yet he seems to have taken less debilitating punishment than the 32-year-old Chisora (who is perhaps best known for his brave but losing fights against Vitali Klitschko and the recently returned David Haye). “Del Boy,” as the Londoner is known, has been stopped only twice yet he has taken tough fights against the likes of Fury (twice) Helenius (who had a bad shoulder yet many fans felt Chisora won anyway), Haye and of course Klitschko. How much has Chisora got left? This fight may tell us.
Pulev has beaten two okay opponents since his loss to Wladimir and “The Cobra” seemed to be as strong and as dangerous as always in his return bouts. The location of Pulev-Chisora has yet to be determined, but it seems Pulev will enter the fight as the favourite to win wherever the hostilities take place. Chisora doesn’t get stopped easily and Pulev will no doubt have to work hard to win the vacant EBU belt, but a Pulev win looks likely from this armchair seat.
And a EBU title win could help Pulev on his way towards a hoped for second crack at world honours. Look for Pulev to win a wide UD over Chisora this spring.
But who will unbeaten star Anthony Joshua now face in his next fight, set for April in London? It was widely thought Joshua would face Chisora in an all-British showdown for the EBU belt, but now the wait for the 2012 Olympian’s next rival goes on a little while.
Who knows, maybe the winner of Pulev and Chisora will test Joshua’s mettle in the coming months.