Kubrat Pulev, last seen winning the vacant European heavyweight title with a 12-round split decision over Dereck Chisora (the fight was not seen as that close in the opinion of nearly everyone apart from one official) will face Poland’s Mariusz Wach in his first defence, Novinite.com reports. The fight does not have a confirmed date yet, but is expected tp go ahead in either September or October, with the likely venue being Sofia, in Pulev’s hometown of Bulgaria.
35-year-old Pulev, beaten only by then heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko in November of 2014, has put together three good wins since the exciting 5th-round stoppage loss, and he remains, at 23-1(12) a solid contender. Wach, a giant of a man at 6’8,” also fought Klitschko, losing a wide 12-round decision in a title challenge in November of 2012. The Pole is a year older than Pulev and his record reads 32-2(17). Wach has been stopped just once, last but one fight out, when Alexander Povetkin gave him a steady beating and finally TKO’d him in the 12th and final round of a WBC silver title challenge in November of last year.
Since then, Wach has beaten Marcelo Nascimento by 10-round UD. A decent enough fight, Pulev-Wach could be an exciting, watchable affair. Pulev remains determined to become a world champion, while Wach is big, strong and he can punch. Pulev, though he was stopped by Klitschko whereas Wach took “Dr. Steel Hammer” the distance, has to be the favourite to win in September/October. But can Pulev score a stoppage? Wach has some chin and he took a lot from both Klitschko and Povetkin. How much the hammering by Povetkin took out of “The Viking” could be a factor in this fight.
A Pulev points win looks a good bet. One other thing that should be mentioned, is the fact that Wach tested positive for an illegal substance after the loss to Klitschko. Wach was suspended and kept out of action for almost two full years as a result. Hopefully, Wach and his team have learned their lesson.