Kubrat Pulev vs. Samuel Peter – Results
By Eric Baldwin: Former heavyweight world title challenger Kubrat Pulev (24-1, 13 KOs) defeated former WBC heavyweight title challenger Samuel Peter (36-5, 9 KOs) by a 4th round TKO to win the vacant WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title on Saturday night in a mismatch in front of 15,000 boxing fans at the Arena Armeec in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The fight was stopped after round three after the badly out of shape looking Peter appeared to hurt his right arm while throwing a wild shot. Peter bent over the ropes after the round ended. He appeared to be in pain and was leaning towards his right side, as it to show that he had hurt his right arm. Moments later, the fight was halted by the referee.
It’s just as well. The fight was a mismatch, as Peter was slow, fat and missing badly with every punch he threw. It was target practice for the 6’4 ½” Pulev, who jabbed Peter nonstop in rounds one through three. It was too easy for Pulev.
The Bulgarian heavyweight only rarely threw right hands in the fight, because he didn’t need to. Peter wasn’t able to block his jabs, so Pulev didn’t need to throw his right hands too often. On the occasions that Pulev would use his right, he would miss and get countered by Peter. Pulev’s ability to land right hand has always been a problem for him in his fights, but especially tonight. Pulev was coming up short right his right and falling into Peter for a clinch.
Peter was able to land shots when he was being held by Pulev. The only time Peter had any real success in hitting Pulev was when the two of them were clinching. Peter would reach around and hit Pulev with a looping shot. Peter likely learned how to hit his opponents while being held from his two fights against former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who held him frequently in their two fights together. Peter lost both of them, but he learned how to hit while being held.
In the 1st round, Pulev set the pace of the fight by jabbing Peter frequently with head-snapping jabs as he waddled forward. Peter, 36, missed a number of wild left hooks and right hands in the round. Peter wasn’t letting himself get close enough before throwing his shots. Instead of using head movement to get close enough to hit the taller, leaner Pulev, Peter was throwing wild shots from the outside. Those punches had no hope of landing.
If Peter was lean, young and in top shape, he might have landed his punches from the outside, but not in the shape he was in tonight. Peter looked like he’d been training for the fight at the kitchen table with a knife and fork rather than in the boxing gym. He was just way too fat. You’ve got to give Pulev’s promoters at Sauerland Events credit for selecting the out of shape Peter to fight tonight rather than someone that could potentially beat him like Luis Ortiz. You can argue that Pulev won the fight the moment the contract was signed for tonight’s fight, because Peter was too heavy to do anything inside the ring.
The 2nd round was embarrassing, as Pulev landed jab after jab to the head of Peter without coming back at him. I counted 20 consecutive jabs thrown from Pulev in the round that hit Peter in the head before he finally answered back with a right hand. It was completely one-sided in the 2nd round. Pulev landed one right hand in the entire round, and that was in the last seconds before the bell. Pulev didn’t need to use his right, because Peter had no defense for the jabs he was getting hit with. After the round ended, Peter walked slowly back to his corner in a way that suggested that he was not motivated. Peter looked totally defeated. It would have been a good idea for the fight to have been stopped at that point in between rounds, because Peter was just getting hammered by Pulev and not doing anything. I’m sure Peter wanted to make it competitive, but his poor conditioning and his bad flight strategy wasn’t going to lead to him winning the fight. I think a flabby heavyweight could beat Pulev if they fought with the right game plan by attacking him and getting close enough to land, but Peter wasn’t doing that tohnight.
Pulev landed everything but the kitchein sink on Peter in the 3rd round. It wasn’t until the last seconds of the round that Peter woke up and tried to attack Pulev with some meaningful punches. But to Peter’s bad luck, he appeared to injure his right arm as the round ended. The fight was then stopped in between rounds.
Samuel Peter looked very overweight for the fight. His midsection was that of someone who hadn’t trained enough. Peter didn’t look like an athlete tonight. He weighed in at 271lbs for Friday’s weigh-in, which is around 30 pounds over his best fighting weight. Peter definitely looked 30 pounds overweight. But even if Peter did come into the fight in top shape, he would have had problems getting to the taller Pulev, because he getting jabbed and picked off each time he would come forward to land anything. The only heavyweight that has done well against Pulev is the taller 6’6” Wladimir Klitschko, who used his left hook to drop him over and over again before stopping him in the 5th round in their fight in 2014. Incidentally, that was the only real quality heavyweight that Pulev has fought during his seven-year pro career. Most of Pulev’s other fights have come against weak heavyweights.
With the win, Pulev, IBF #2, WBC #3, WBO #10, WBA #11, stays in position for another world title shot against one of the champions in the division. Pulev’s promoters at Sauerland Events are hoping that he can get a title shot in 2017. However, Pulev may need to go the WBO route if he wants a shot next year at a title, because World Boxing Council champion Deontay Wilder has other plans for big fights. The same goes for IBF champion Anthony Joshua, who is facing Wladimir in early 2017, and then likely a unification match against Deontay later on in the year. It would be better for Pulev if he fights the winner of the Joseph Parker vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. fight for the WBO belt. He has a better chance of beating one of those guys than he would if he fought Joshua or Wilder for their titles.
Pulev looks he’s a good heavyweight, but I don’t think he can beat any of the top heavyweights in the division. With Pulev’s lack of punching power and his inability to land right hands, he would have no chance against heavyweights like Joshua, Wilder, Ruiz Jr., Ortiz and Parker. Those guys can all throw power shots, and they’re not going to be beaten by a heavyweight that only throws jabs like Pulev.
The 35-year-old Pulev doesn’t have the youth to find some power. At his age, Pulev is the finished product pretty much, and he’s not going to be able to suddenly develop the power he would need for him to beat the top heavyweights in the division. If Pulev’s management wants him to fight guys like Samuel Peter for the remainder of his career, I think he can win those fights every time, but I don’t see him being able to beat the top guys in the division without power and a right hand.