Wladimir Klitschko resumes training for Kubrat Pulev
RING heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko has resumed training this week in the wake of a torn biceps muscle injury that forced the rescheduling of his defense against undefeated Kubrat Pulev from Sept. 6 to Nov. 15, according to a video released by Klitschko.
Klitschko has undergone therapy and been cleared for training, according to Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions.
“I’m back in training at the Heavyweight Factory in the sunny state of Florida,” said Klitschko, 38, who will fight Pulev at the O2 World arena in Hamburg, Germany. “I’m getting ready for Kubrat Pulev or continuing to get ready. Of course, my next fight, you can’t miss.”
Klitschko (62-3, 52 knockouts), who stands 6-foot-6 to Pulev’s 6-4, will make his 17th consecutive defense, having scored a fifth-round knockout of Alex Leapai in his last fight in April.
The clash with Pulev will represent Klitschko’s 26th title fight and the champion is 23-2 over that time. Having been beltholder since 2006, Klitschko’s reign ranks second only to that of the legendary Joe Louis, the longest reigning heavyweight champion in the sport’s history. Klitschko’s 21 successful defenses surpassed the 20 by Larry Holmes, the third-longest reigning heavyweight champion.
The 33-year-old Pulev (20-0, 11 KOs) was last in the ring for a third round stoppage of Ivica Perkovic in April.
[Note: An earlier version of this story listed Klitschko’s total number of defenses at 23. The correct number is 21, as two of Klitschko’s 25 title fights were losses and two were not defenses.]
JOHN WAYNE HIBBERT ON LEONARDO ESTEBAN GONZALEZ: ‘I AM READY TO TAKE HIM APART’
Junior welterweight John Wayne Hibbert (13-2, 7 knockouts) will be after his fourth straight knockout victory against Leonardo Esteban Gonzalez (22-5-1, 15 KOs) on Saturday at the O2 Arena’s Millenium Dome in Greenwich, London.
Hibbert is facing Gonzalez in support of a main event between featherweights Lee Selby and Joel Brunker that will be promoted by Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport.
“I know [Gonzalez] has a good knockout record but he hasn’t boxed outside of Argentina too much,” said Hibbert, 29, who is coming off a fourth round stoppage of Michal Dufek in July. “I am not fazed by him. I am ready. I have trained hard and I am ready to take him apart.”
Gonzalez, 32, was last in action for a fourth round knockout of Adrian Marcelo Flamenco in May that helped him bounce back from a seventh round stoppage loss to Paulus Moses in October 2013.
“You always have to be wary in there because it is boxing and everybody can be dangerous. He does look like he is quite heavy-handed,” said Hibbert, “but I believe he is coming up from lightweight. Although I have to be careful of his power, likewise, he needs to be careful of my power.”
Also on the card is heavyweight Anthony Joshua, a gold medalist at the 2012 Olympics in London who has sparred with Klitschko. Coming off a third round stoppage of Konstantin Airich on Sept. 13, Joshua will face Denis Bakhtov, a 34-year-old whose last victory was by unanimous decision over Airich in July.