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Dillian Whyte vs. Kubrat Pulev purse bid won by Epic Sports & Entertainment

By Scott Gilfoid: Thursday’s purse bid for the IBF heavyweight title eliminator between Dillian Whyte and Kubrat Pulev was won by Epic Sports & Entertainment. They offered a winning bid of $1,500,111, which was twice the total of the next highest bid.

This is kind of a surprise that Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sports would be outbid by another promotional company, because he’s got Sky Sports behind him. You would think that Hearn would have enough money to win the purse bid, but I guess not. The bid is 75/25 in Pulev’s favor, which might explain why Hearn let himself be outbid by Epic Sports & Entertainment.

If there’s going to be a fight between Pulev and Whyte in July, it’ll most likely be in Bulgaria. I’m predicting Whyte pulls out now that Hearn has lost the purse bid.


Here are the bids on the Whyte vs. Pulev fight:

1. Epic Sports & Entertainment – $1,500,111

2. Matchroom Boxing – $831,111

3. Team Sauerland – $801,305

As you can see, Hearn was outbid by a long shot by Epic Sports for the fight. Now all he can hope is Whyte doesn’t wind up falling apart when he fights Pulev outside of his comfort zone in another country. Whyte has had it easy fighting in front of his own boxing fans his entire career. What happens when the cheers stop? Will Whyte still be the same fighter or will he crumble like jelly in Bulgaria?

If Whyte was looking for a reason to pull out of the Pulev fight, he now officially has a reason to. Whyte needs to make up his mind whether he’s willing to fight Pulev in Bulgaria. If not, then he can pull out of the fight and go in the direction of the World Boxing Council eliminator that was ordered between him and Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz. That’s a far more interesting fight for Whyte, and if he wins it, he’ll be Wilder’s WBC mandatory.

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With Epic Sports & Entertainment winning the bid, it likely means the Whyte-Pulev fight will take place in the 37-year-old Pulev’s home country of Bulgarian in front of his boxing fans. The 6’4 ½” Pulev is a big star in Bulgaria due to his excellent amateur career more so that what he’s done as a pro.

Pulev fought in the 2008 Olympics for Bulgaria. As a pro, Pulev fought for a world title against former International Boxing Federation heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko but was stopped in the 5th round on November 15, 2014. Pulev didn’t have the defensive capabilities to deal with Wladimir’s powerful left hook, which he kept knocking him down with.

This is disappointing news for the 30-year-old Dillian Whyte, who will likely need to fight Pulev in Bulgaria unless he decides to pull and fight Ortiz. This will be the first time in Whyte’s 7-year pro career that he’ll be fighting outside of the UK unless Hearn can make a deal to stage the fight over there.

There’s no reason why Epic Sports & Entertainment would bid $1.5 million to stage the fight in the UK. They’re going to stage it where it works for them and that likely will be in Bulgaria. We’ll have to see how well Whyte does in fighting outside of the UK. He tends to fight harder when his boxing fans are cheering for him. I don’t know how many of Whyte’s fans will be willing to make the long trek to Bulgaria to see him fight.

Hearn hasn’t been doing much marketing of the Whyte vs. Pulev fight for some reason. I’m wondering if he’s just hoping that the boxing fans will tune in on the night to watch it on Sky when the fight takes place.


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