Both highly ranked by the IBF, heavyweight contenders Kubrat Pulev and Hughie Fury will clash in a final eliminator on October 27 it has been confirmed by Pulev. The fight, very much an interesting one as it is, will, in theory see the winner go on to face Anthony Joshua. Fury, 22-1(11) and one win removed from his close decision loss to WBO champ Joseph Parker (close in the opinion of plenty of fight fans if not the judges) will have to travel to Pulev’s hometown of Sofia.
Pulev, 25-1(13) and currently ranked NO.2 by the IBF, has won five in a row since suffering his sole defeat at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko, yet he has been very inactive as of late. Both Fury (cousin of course of lineal king Tyson Fury) and Pulev are hungry for a second crack at a world title, and if Joshua comes through okay against Alexander Povetkin in his WBA/IBF/WBO title defence in September, the winner of Fury and Pulev will be able to call, with some force, for a shot at AJ.
Pulev, as fans may recall, was to have fought Joshua last year, with injury forcing his withdrawal and Carlos Takam stepping in at late notice. The tough Bulgarian is both solid and experienced, but he is no spring chicken at age 37. And again, Pulev has also been far from active, last boxing back in April of last year; his sole fight of 2017 being a points win over the still useful Kevin Johnson.
Fury, at age 23, is fresher and he has been a little more active than Pulev; with his British title fight win over Sam Sexton taking place in May of this year. Still, Fury has also endured long spells out of the ring, due to illness and injury. If he’s fully sharp and not at all fazed by fighting in front of Pulev’s loyal fans, Fury should have a good shot at winning a decision. It will have to be a clear win, though, and Fury must let his hands go (something he did not do against Parker, despite boxing well in a number of rounds).
A stoppage either way looks quite unlikely and fans can instead settle in for an engrossing 12 rounds.