Kubrat Pulev vs. George Arias on October 17th
By Tim Fletcher: #8 IBF heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev (20-1, 11 KOs) will be looking to rebound from his 5th round knockout loss at the hands of IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko when he gets back inside the ring this month in less than two weeks from now on October 17th to face 41-year-old Brazilian journeyman George Arias (56-13, 42 KOs) in a scheduled 8 round fight at the DM-Arena, Karlsruhe, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
Pulev, 34, has been out of action for the past 11 months since his loss to Klitschko almost a year ago. At Pulev’s age, it’s not the best thing to do in staying out of the ring for an entire year rather than getting back in there and fighting hard to get a high enough ranking for another world title shot.
In the time that Pulev lost, he could have fought at least three times and moved himself up get another No.1 ranking. It’s probably going to take a ranking that high for Pulev to get a rematch with Wladimir, because I don’t see him giving him a rematch in one of his voluntary defenses. Wladimir tends to go soft when taking voluntary defenses.
“He [Wladimir] got lucky that I made a tiny mistake…Nonetheless, it should be his honor to give me a rematch,” Pulev said to sport.segodnya.ua.
Pulev is now trained by Ulli Wegner. This could help Pulev, but not if he can’t find some punching power and a better chin. For Pulev to be able to compete with big punchers like WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, he’s going to need more than just a good jab in order to beat him.
The 6’4 1/2″, 250 pound Pulev has the size to give a lot of heavyweights in the division problems, and he also has an excellent jab. Wegner says he’s fixed Pulev’s leaky defense, but we’ll have to wait and see on that.
Pulev will need to be able to beat guys like Wilder, Tyson Fury, Alexander Povetkin and Bryant Jennings. Those are tough fights for Pulev right now and I’m not sure he wins those unless he improves his game. He’s got the size to win, but he doesn’t have the punching power. Pulev is more like Johann Duhaupas in terms of talent, but he doesn’t have Duhaupas’ chin.
“The fight against Klitschko was a valuable lesson for me,’’ said Pulev. “At that time I wasn’t doing enough, I was too complacent but now I know what it takes to become world champion and I won’t be making that mistake again. This is the start of a new beginning for me.’’
Pulev didn’t lose the fight to Wladimir because he wasn’t working hard enough. Pulev won the fight because he kept lowering his guard and that enabled Wladimir to nail him with big left hooks to put him on the canvas 4 times in the fight. Wladimir knocked Pulev down two times in the 1st, once in the 3rd and a final time in the 5th round. Once Wladimir figured out that Pulev had no defense against a left hook, he kept going back to that punch over and over again without stop.
‘’Kubrat is still one of the best heavyweights in the world,” said promoter Kalle Sauerland. “Against Klitschko, he showed great heart and took the fight to the champion. He may have lost but his time will come again and, with Ulli Wegner in his corner, we have every faith that he will, one day, be crowned heavyweight champion of the world.’’
If Pulev is going to be a heavyweight champion someday then he needs to target WBA “regular” heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev, because he by far is the most vulnerable of the heavyweight champions right now. Pulev won’t do well against Klitschko and Wilder is probably way too powerful and too fast for him. Chagaev is getting up there in age at 36 and is ready to be beaten.
Arias is coming off of a one-sided 10 round decision loss to prospect Hughie Fury last July.