Pulev beats Thompson to become IBF heavyweight mandatory challenger

Juergen Braehmer took another step towards another crack at a world title. On Saturday, the 34-year-old beat Stefano Abatangelo by unanimous decision (119:108, 119:108 and 115:111) in front of a sold-out home crowd at the Sport- und Kongresshalle Schwerin, Germany. “It was difficult to showcase my skills against Abatangelo as he has an awkward style,” said the light heavyweight contender who defended his European as well as his WBO International Title. “Still it was good for me to get some more rounds under my belt which will definitely help me in my next fight.” Braehmer is the mandatory to WBO Champion Sergey Kovalev.

Arthur Abraham had also to work hard to get his hands raised in Schwerin. Before a crowd of 5,600 spectators inside the arena, Abraham got the decision against durable Willbeforce Shihepo to win the WBO Intercontinental Title. The scores read 116:112, 116:113 and 117:111 in favor of the man from Berlin, Germany. This bout also marked the 10-year-anniversary of the former middleweight and super-middleweight champion’s professional career. “Certainly, I can’t be completely satisfied with my performance tonight,” stated Abraham at the post-fight press conference. “But this victory came against a top-10 ranked fighter in Shihepo. My tactics were to box him, not to bang with him.” With the win Abraham, currently ranked at number four by the WBO, hopes to get another crack at a world championship as soon as possible.

Somebody who already secured his chance to fight for a world title in his next fight is Kubrat Pulev. The Bulgarian outlasted Tony Thompson over twelve rounds, beating him comfortably on all three judges’ scorecards (118:110, 117:111 and 116:112). The victory for Pulev means that he will challenge the winner of the upcoming world championship fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin. “I still have a lot of work to do as I need to get better for this challenge,” said the 32-year-old, who defended his IBF International Belt against the 41-year-old man from Washington, D.C. “But I’m confident to do so. I don’t care if I have to fight Klitschko or Povetkin next. The most important thing is to win that bout and become world champion!”


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