Bulgarian boxer Koubrat Pulev said his opponent for the IBF title, defending champion Wladimir Klitschko, was faking an injury to postpone the fight. The latest comments are likely to further ignite passions ahead of the title bout, with Pulev previously hinting that Klitschko had something to hide by eschewing doping tests during his training camp.
Pulev spoke to Nova Televizia, the Bulgarian TV channel that bought the broadcasting rights for the title bout in Bulgaria, for the first time since the fight was postponed to November 15 earlier this week. His comments aired on Nova Televizia’s breakfast show on August 28.
Pulev said he was focusing on the fight, scheduled for September 6, and was surprised by Klitschko’s announcement that he had sustained a biceps injury that required him to take a four-week break from sparring.
“It is possible that he injured himself, but any athlete will tell you that if the injury is mild, the modern medicine – and he has a serious resource of doctors around him – can fix it so that the fight can go ahead. And if it is a serious injury, two months is not enough,” Pulev said.
“All this is complete nonsense, this is no injury as far as I am concerned,” he said.
Pulev said that the postponement will not disrupt his training camp and will only help him prepare better for the fight.
He said that he did not believe Klitschko was afraid to fight, but described himself as a risky opponent for the defending champion. “It is not fully certain that he will lose, but there is a high probability he will lose. His camp does not like to take risks and I am more than a risk, I am a serious threat,” Pulev said.
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.
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.
(Koubrat Pulev screenshot from Nova Televizia.)