Heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev is no stranger to controversy. It wasn’t too long ago when the Bulgarian fighter got into big trouble for grabbing and kissing a female reporter during an interview, this without her consent. Pulev was actually suspended due to his actions – his behavior going down as sexual harassment. Pulev soon apologized.
Now, just weeks ahead of his long-awaited IBF mandatory shot at Anthony Joshua, Pulev is almost certainly going to be issuing another apology very soon. During a presser to further hype the December 12 fight, Pulev made a quite bizarre, unexpected, and uncalled for comment about the skin tone of his upcoming opponent.
“He has a very powerful punch, undeniably,” Pulev said at the press conference, before adding, when asked what other strengths Joshua has, this clanger: “What are his other strengths? His tan is better than mine.”
Now, Pulev was very possibly just joking (he may have a weird sense of humor), but fans and some fellow fighters (Dereck Chisora, for one) have been angered at Pulev’s silly comment.
Pulev had been branded a racist by quite a few people, and at the very least, it was a thoughtless comment from a professional athlete who should know better.
Joshua fans are now posting messages on social media in which they express their desire to see AJ punish Pulev for his silly words when fight time comes.
Joshua is seen by most as the big favorite to win on December 12, although Pulev’s promoter was/is saying how Pulev will get the KO win. For good or for bad (bad), there is now added spice/controversy to the heavyweight title fight.
Who knows, maybe Pulev did say what he said in an effort at getting Joshua riled up and angry, in an effort to getting Joshua off his game. It does seem doubtful that this was the case, though. We will no doubt hear some form of explanation from Pulev in due course. And get ready for that apology.
Joshua has yet to comment on the incident.