Ukrainian heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko retained the IBF title late on November 15, knocking out his Bulgarian challenger Kubrat Pulev in the fifth round.
The fight, which was postponed by more than two months after Klitschko injured himself in training, was decidedly one-sided, with Pulev floored twice in the opening round. Klitschko knocked his opponent down again in the third round.
Reports in Bulgarian media said Pulev had to be taken to hospital and was suspected to have suffered a concussion and broken facial bones.
After the match, Pulev said that he had no intention to quit and wanted a re-match against Klitschko. He said that the fight might have come too early for him, but said that his first defeat as a professional would serve him as valuable experience.
Pulev once again accused Klitschko of being unsporting and using “a lot of tricks” during the match. He also thanked the large number of Bulgarian fans that attended the fight at Hamburg’s O2 World arena.
Klitschko, for whom it was the 17th consecutive successful title defence, the third longest streak in boxing history, said that Pulev was a tough opponent and said he was happy to end the fight quickly.
(Klitschko, left, knocked out Pulev in the fifth round to retain his IBF title. Screenshot from Nova Televizia.)