Wladimir will have problems with Kubrat Pulev
By Jason Kim: EBU heavyweight champion Kubrat Pulev (17-0, 9 KO’s) forced previously unbeaten heavyweight contender Alexander Ustinov (27-1, 21 KO’s) quit in the 11th round of their fight last Saturday night in an IBF heavyweight title eliminator bout at the Sporthalle, Alsterdorf, in Hamburg, Germany. Ustinov took a knee after getting hit with two jabs. The win makes Pulev Wladimir Klitschko’s IBF mandatory challenger, and we could see the two of them fighting next year.
Perhaps the reason why Ustimov decided to quit on one knee was because of the 6’4 1/2″ Pulev’s excellent jab, which made a real mess of Ustinov’s face. It was classic pizza face that Ustinov received from Pulev with his nose bleeding, his face beet red and a cut over his left eye.
Pulev did all this essentially using little more than a hard jab that he threw over and over again to dominate the bigger and slower Ustinov. It wasn’t just Pulev’s excellent jab that won him the fight. He did a good job of moving his upper body and head to keep Ustinov from having an easy target to get his shots off.
Ustinov seemed hesitant to let his hands go for fear of missing and then getting countered by Pulev. Ustinov did land some hard rights in the fight, two in the 7th and another time in the 8th. But Ustinov was unable to land often and that made it easy for Pulev to win the fight and give him beating.
Pulev will be a lot of problems for Wladimir because of his awesome jab and good size. Wladimir has a better jab than Pulev, but he doesn’t use it nearly as much, and that means Wladimir is going to get hit a lot by Pulev unless he goes for a quick knockout. It’s either Wladimir battles Pulev in a war of jabs or he goes for a knockout. Pulev doesn’t have much power right hand or left hook, so Wladimir won’t have to worry about being knocked out by him. But he will have to change his game if he’s going to play it safe and try to beat Pulev by jabbing. Wladimir will have to throw his jab at least as often as Pulev does otherwise he’s going to end up getting reddened face like Ustinov did. Wladimir will be smart if he focuses on trying to land his right hand and left hook, because Pulev looked vulnerable against Ustinov in the few times he was hit solidly by him. Pulev is good at dishing it out by he seems a lot comfortable when taking shots in return, especially big power shots.