By Ognian Georgiev, “Bulgaria Today” daily newspaper
Photo: Winfried Mausolf/Sauerland Event
Kubrat “The Cobra” Pulev (18-0, 9 KOs) scored biggest win in his career, winning an IBF heavyweight eliminator against Tony “The Tiger” Thompson (38-4, 26 KOs) on Saturday in Schwerin, Germany. The Bulgarian star dominated the fight, receiving great support from his fans, who traveled from all over Europe to support him.
“Now I am waiting for October 5 to see who will win between Klitschko and Povetkin,” said Pulev right after the fight. “I suppose that Klitschko will be the winner. It wasn’t my best form. I believe I can do it better. I wasn’t relaxed enough because I was out of the ring for 10 months. This was the reason, but for the world title fight I’ll prepare better. With God’s help and Bulgarian support behind me I hope to cause a furor.”
Right after the fight “The Cobra,” who was supported by his brother – London Olympics heavyweight bronze medalist Tervel Pulev, grabbed the Bulgarian flag.
“The win was for our country and for our pride,” added Pulev. “We are number one. Great thanks for all my country mates and all the audience in the hall, because there were some critical rounds where the fatigue and my opponent’s experience equalized the fight. The first rounds were for him, but I got a lot of courage from the fans and I would like to thank them.”
During the fight there were some ugly moments with a lot of wrestling and punches behind the head, but when the final bell sounded Pulev and Thompson were like old friends. The Bulgarian even tried to make a back suplex to help the 41-year-old veteran, which makes everyone in the ring laugh. And even referee Randy Neumann was all smiles when The Tiger striped down his shorts and remains just with the jock strap to cover his family jewels.
“He tried to pressure me, to stay in close where he felt more comfortable, but I didn’t let him”, Pulev said. “I waited for my moment, because I didn’t want to take a risk. The gloves are small enough and even one cut can spoil the fight. I would like to thank to all my Bulgarian coaches over the years, because I train in Germany now, but the specialists like Petar Lesov, Borislav Boyadziev, Mikhail Takov, Jordan Stoyanov, Kotze Petkov – The Steel made me what I am now.”