Alexander Ustinov vs. Kubrat Pulev in IBF heavyweight title eliminator on September 29th
By Allan Fox: Unbeaten heavyweight contenders Alexander Ustinov (27-0, 21 KO’s) and Kubrat Pulev (16-0, 8 KO’s) will battle in an IBF heavyweight title eliminator next month on September 29th in Hamburg, Germany. The winner of the Ustinov-Pulev fight will become the mandatory challenger for IBF/WBA/WBC heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Klitschko’s manager Bernd Boente has already said that Pulev and Mariusz Wach are two heavyweights who are in the running for Wladimir’s next fight in December in Europe.
Pulev, 6’4 1/2″, 250 lbs, is an ex-2008 Olympian from Bulgaria. He has an extensive amount of amateur experience going for him and he’s got a lot of skills to go along with his experience and size. The 31-year-old Pulev’s experience at the pro level is limited, however, due to the many years he put into his amateur career. He only turned pro in 2009 and his best fights have come against Travis Walker, Derric Rossy, Alexander Dimitrenko, Michael Sprott and Maksym Pedyura, knocking most of them out. Pulev doesn’t have a lot of power but he hits hard enough to cause a lot of problems with his opponents due to his huge size.
Ustinov, 6’7 1/2″, 300 pounds, is even bigger than Pulev. Ustinov can punch a little but he’s slow and easy to hit. But his long arms enables him to jab and land shots from the outside. Ustinov reminds me of a heavier, slower, weaker Vitali Klitschko. Ustinov’s best wins have come against Kertson Manswell, Jason Gavern, Monte Barrett, Michael Sprott and Denis Bakhtov.
Pulev is appears to be the better fighter of the two, and it’s possible he can score a knockout against Ustinov if he can stay busy and land enough of his heavy shots to wear Ustinov down.