Kubrat Pulev, the reigning European heavyweight champion who was recently in the running to be the next challenger for IBF boss Anthony Joshua, has another fight set instead. According to Pulev’s Twitter page, he will face none other than former WBC heavyweight champ Sam Peter in Sofia, Bulgaria on December 3rd.
Tickets are on sale now apparently.
What to make of this match-up? A few years ago, when Peter was still fighting regularly and was in good shape, weight-wise, this one would have been a big attraction. Maybe it still will pull in the fans in Pulev’s homeland, but what can we expect from Peter, now aged 36 and having had just two fights since 2011 (both low-key wins)?
Pulev, beaten only by then-champ Wladimir Klitschko, is a legitimate world title contender and it is unclear why he has taken this fight or what he hopes to gain from it. A win would not impress too many boxing fans, who feel, probably correctly, that “The Nigerian Nightmare” is either shot or very close to it. On the other hand, Peter always could punch and what if, for one last time, the stocky slugger gets himself in decent condition and gets lucky next month? Where would Pulev be then?
Very much a fight that is risk (maybe not too much risk, but you get my point, what with Peter’s punching power) and no real reward, Pulev-Peter is a curiosity of a heavyweight match-up if ever there was one. One that has come at least five years too late.
Pulev, 23-1(12) is only one year older than Peter at age 35, yet he has been far more active, is in far better physical shape, and in boxing years he is way younger. A Pulev win has to be the pick, but what might happen if Peter, 36-5(29) manages to land a bomb on the local hero’s chin?
The card has been dubbed “Night of The Champions!” Both heavyweights have of course been in with Wladimir Klitschko – Peter twice, also facing Vitali. Pulev has won three in a row since being stopped by Wladimir in an exciting fight in November of 2014.