In an interview for Polsat TV a couple of days ago, W. Klitschko bluntly dismissed Kubrat Pulev’s chances of becoming a real challenge. Wlad did not like the question whether Pulev would be a tougher opponent for him than Alex Leapai and asked in return what the reporter would say if Pulev got KOed in the first round.
W. Klitschko is not a trash talker and he is generally very tolerant towards his opponent’s antics and stunts. He usually has kind words for his foes but he seems to have none this time especially after Pulev brought up the Olympic drug testing issue. Klitschko is very sensitive to this subject and he blames Pulev’s promotional team, Sauerland, for trying to “get under his skin”.
Playing mind games or just looking for excuses, Kubrat Pulev’s team has done the job and they have positioned their fighter for a title shot. Klitschko clearly does not want this fight for a number of reasons but at least he seems to have been motivated by the allegations. Pulev does not need additional motivation as this would be the biggest event in his career to date.
PEDs can not remain undetected, they leave insignificantly small but permanent traces even in a “clean” athlete who has passed the test with legal levels in his/her system. They have an invisible but permanent effect on the muscle cells and they have a visible side. The effect can not be limited only to the muscle groups that are essential for a boxer, every other muscle “gets hit” as well”. Even if PEDs use has become a complex science and there are true wizards in applying a sport-specific schedule and then disguising it, the athlete’s new musculature and sometimes their new temper tell the whole story.
Wladimir Klitschko has a degree in sports science and he takes his conditioning and fitness very seriously. He employs unusual cross-over methods in his strength and endurance training as he swims and rows along with the weight training. This should explain his muscle definition and “chiseled” looks and his ability to do 12 rounds at an even pace. Any serious allegation that puts a blemish on an athlete’s achievements should be substantiated or at least justified.
Kubrat Pulev is a serious and credible challenger and he ranks very high among the rest of the contenders as far as boxing ability and technique is concerned. His right hand power issues and the lack of variety in his offense could be his main deficits. He has good defense but he is hittable, especially for a boxer from Klitschko’s caliber. Close range and body shots could buy Pulev some time. Wlad’s chin is not something to write home about but Pulev will need more than a good jab to get to it. He may find his own jab to be “booby trapped’ by Klitschko’s tactics. Wlad is best equipped to deal with conventional long range boxers.