by James Slater – Unbeaten 28-year-old Bulgarian heavyweight prospect Kubrat Pulev may not be a name familiar to all that many fans, but the big man with the 5-0(3) pro record is certainly a fighter to keep an eye on, as well as being one whose name may well become more well known in the coming months.
Pulev may well be on his way to becoming a serious contender right now, actually – for only moments ago in Germany, the 6’4″ and approx 240-pound heavyweight hope stopped former European, British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Matt Skelton. The 28-year-old TKO’d the 43-year-old “Bedford Bear” in the 4th round, almost certainly ending the career of the man who came late to pro boxing in the process..
And while Skelton’s age and recent form suggested his best days were behind him going into tonight’s fight, Pulev’s win, coming as it has in just his fifth pro outing, is highly impressive. The question now, at this still early stage of the former amateur standout’s pro career, is how far can Pulev go?
Back when he was boxing in the unpaid ranks, “The Cobra,” as Pulev calls himself by way of a nickname, managed to win a number of titles and medals. Winner of a gold medal up at super-heavyweight at the 2008 European Amateur Championships, Pulev also captured a bronze at the 2005 World Amateur Championships. During this amateur career, the big Bulgarian met top names such as Cuba’s Odlanier Solis and Russia’s Sultan Ibragimov (winning and losing to Solis, losing to Ibragimov). Pulev also fought at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but unfortunately for him he lost his first and only bout.
With all this amateur experience under his belt, Pulev turned pro in September of last year in Germany. Fighting all five pro bouts in Germany, the prospect has beaten decent operators like Zack Page and Gbenga Oloukun (winning unanimous decisions over both) and he has now stopped the still tough Skelton. Fighting once a month since last September, Pulev can now look ahead to a very promising 2010.
It’s still early days, of course, but Pulev is adapting to the pro game well and he looks like he could become a big puncher. Stepping up in class and taking a risky fight as he did against Skelton, it will be very interesting to see who Pulev chooses to face next. Bulgaria may not have a very long list when it comes to big name heavyweights in history, but the talented prospect from the town of Sofia could be on his way to changing all that soon!