Tell Them Pulev Is Coming
“With his extensive amateur experience, he is as solid as they come, his greatest strength perhaps being his ability to remain patient and calm no matter what the situation is in the ring.”—Johnny Walker
“Guys, if you watch my fights you will see that more and more blood I see, no matter if it’s mine or my opponents’, the more angry I become. So please, give me some blood fights and you will be satisfied for the money you spend for the ticket.”—Kubrat Pulev
There are rumors afloat which are quickly becoming factual that IBF North American heavyweight champion Tomasz “Goral” Adamek (48-2) may be taking on Bulgarian Kubrat “The Cobra” Pulev in a spring tussle possibly in Poland where a monster crowd (and payday) would be in the offing. If so, this final IBF eliminator match could be bad news for Adamek and good news for Pulev, although from a financial standpoint, it would be good news for both.
In 2012, the 6’4”, 250-lb. Pulev (17-0) beat Michael Sprott, Alexander Dimitrenko, and Alexander Ustinov, all in Germany. Prior to 2012, The Cobra beat a number of solid opponents including Travis Walker, Derric Rossy, Dominic Quinn, and Paolo Vidoz.
Adamek also had a solid 2012 on paper, but wins over Eddie Chambers and particularly Steve Cunningham were questionable at best. All in all, it was an unimpressive 4-0 year for Adamek. Pulev will be the Pole’s toughest test since he was massacred by Vitali Klitschko in September 2011.
Kubrat, who enjoyed a celebrated amateur career, possesses athleticism, ring smarts, speed, and agility for a big man. He also gets off first, uses punishing and surprisingly fast jabs, and is heavy-handed with a tendency to grind down his opponents until they quit. Howerer, quitting is not in Adamek’s DNA—and that should make this fight a compelling one.
If this bout is made, the 36-year-old Adamek will have the home field advantage and that‘s meaningful in Poland. However, Tomasz has seen his best days and they were before the brutal beating he took against Klitschko. Goral’s elevator is moving down, while the 31-year-old Cobra’s is moving up. And the inflection point does not bode well for Adamek. What’s more, Pulev has stopped two opponents in a row who are over 6’7” so he should hardly be intimidated by the 6’1½” Adamek.
Look for the winner to get a shot at Wladimir or Vitali, and if the winner is Pulev, look for him to be the first truly dangerous opponent either Klitschko has faced in some time.