The fight between Bulgarian challenger Koubrat Pulev and Ukrainian defending heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko for the IBF title has been postponed by about two months, but the exact date of the new fight remains unclear, according to reports on August 25.
The delay is due to an injury Klitschko sustained during training, who will now have to interrupt his fight preparations for the next four weeks, Bulgarian media said, quoting a report by German tabloid Bild.
The news was also confirmed by Pulev’s promoter, Sauerland, who said that the most likely date of the fight would be late October. The title bout had been scheduled for September 6 at the O2 World arena in Hamburg, which will remain the venue for the rescheduled fight.
A former European heavyweight champion, Pulev has a 20-0 record since turning professional, with 11 of those wins coming by knockout. He achieved mandatory challenger status from the International Boxing Federation (IBF) in August 2013, after defeating American boxer Tony Thompson.
Pulev, nicknamed “the Cobra”, has made no secret of his desire to fight Klitschko, even going as far as to suggest that the Ukrainian was “afraid” to fight him.
After Klitschko defended his WBO world title against Australian challenger Alex Leapai in April, the IBF said that he would be stripped of his title if he did not fight Pulev next. The Bulgarian described the announcement as a belated birthday present, coming as it did shortly after Pulev turned 33.
Klitschko, aged 38, currently holds the IBF, WBO and WBA heavyweight titles, having successfully defended them in the last 16 matches, the third longest streak in history (although some pundits attribute his domination more to the weak field of challengers rather than his own prowess.) He has held the IBF title since 2006, adding the WBO title in 2008 and the WBA one in 2011.
(Wladimir Klitschko poses for selfies at an event in Berlin in November 2013. Photo: Hubert Burda Media/flickr.com)