By Karl Freitag
Photos: Photo Wende
In an IBF heavyweight eliminator, IBF #1 heavyweight Kubrat Pulev (18-0, 9 KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over Tony Thompson (38-4, 26 KOs) on Saturday night at the Sport- und Kongress Hall in Schwerin, Germany. Tactical early rounds, but things started to heat up in round four with Pulev becoming more aggressive and clearly winning rounds. Thompson landed some good head shots at the end of round seven, his best moment in the fight. Pulev was busier in round eight and dominated the tiring 41-year-old Thompson for the rest of the fight. Scores were 116-112, 118-110, 117-111. Pulev is now the mandatory IBF challenger for the winner between Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin. He joins Wlad as the only fighter to beat Thompson over the last decade.
Kubrat Pulev: “I still have a lot of work to do as I need to get better for this challenge (against the Klitschko-Povetkin winner), but I’m confident to do so. I don’t care if I have to fight Klitschko or Povetkin next. The most important thing is to win that bout and become world champion!”
After being stopped by Robert Stieglitz in March, former middleweight and super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (37-4, 28 KOs) had all he could handle against little known Willbeforce Shihepo (20-7, 15 KOs). Judges preferred Abraham’s harder shots to Shihepo’s busier workrate. Scores were 116-113, 116-112, 117-111. With the win Abraham, currently ranked at number four by the WBO, hopes to get another crack at a world championship as soon as possible.
Arthur Abraham: “Certainly, I can’t be completely satisfied with my performance tonight. But this victory came against a top-10 ranked fighter in Shihepo. My tactics were to box him, not to bang with him.”
European light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer (41-2, 31 KOs) scored a one-sided twelve round unanimous decision over Stefan Abatangelo (17-3-1, 6 KOs) in a bout that was never in doubt. The much taller former WBO world champion simply outclassed the much smaller Abatangelo. Referee Phil Edwards deducted a point from Abatangelo in round five for hitting on the break. Scores were 119-108, 119-108, 115-111.
Juergen Braehmer: “It was difficult to showcase my skills against Abatangelo as he has an awkward style. Still it was good for me to get some more rounds under my belt which will definitely help me in my next fight.” Braehmer is mandatory challenger for newly crowned WBO champion Sergey Kovalev.
Rebounding from his first career loss, light heavyweight Dustin Dirks (27-1-1, 20 KOs) only managed a gift draw against Czech journeyman Tomas Adamek (20-9-2, 7 KOs).
Unbeaten super middleweight Tyron Zeuge (9-0, 5 KOs) outpointed Nathan King (13-20, 1 KO) over eight rounds. King has now lost 11 of his last 12 fights.
Unbeaten light heavyweight Enrico Koelling (9-0, 2 KOs) scored a third round TKO over previously unbeaten Haris Causevic (8-1, 5 KOs).