Sunday, March 26, 2023  |



Kubrat Pulev skips Klitschko press conference after promoter is snubbed

Wladimir Klitshcko (L) with Kubrat Pulev. Photo by Joern Pollex - Bongarts/Getty Images.

Wladimir Klitshcko (L) with Kubrat Pulev. Photo by Joern Pollex – Bongarts/Getty Images.

Kubrat Pulev is fuming after members of his promotional group, Sauerland Event, were denied access to the final press conference for his bout with RING heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko on Monday afternoon.

Pulev, who faces Klitschko on Saturday at the O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany, said he felt the snub was in bad taste and skipped the press conference to hold his own meeting with the media.

“The security refused to grant entrance to two members of the management and our press officer who did not want to be on the top table but simply attend the presser,” promoter Kalle Sauerland told RingTV. “Pulev had made it clear beforehand that he wanted his management there and in the almost 40 years of our promotional business we have never experienced anything like it.

“A little respect to the challenger would have been nice to see.”

Klitschko, who postponed the fight’s original September date due to a bicep injury sustained in training, was left to entertain the press by himself.

“I cannot believe it. He is ill-advised and it looks like brainwashing,” Klitschko was quoted by German publication “Somebody from his entourage is pulling his strings.”

The 33-year-old Pulev (20-0, 11 knockouts) of Sofia, Bulgaria, will be making his first bid for a heavyweight title against Klitschko (62-3, 52 KOs), who will be making his 17th consecutive defense.

Pulev has risen to THE RING’s No. 1 contender spot at heavyweight off of knockout wins over Alexander Ustinov and Alexander Dimitrenko, and earned the IBF’s mandatory position by decisioning Tony Thompson in August 2013. Pulev has kept busy with knockouts of journeymen Joey Abell and Ivica Perkovic in his two most recent bouts.

“I am going to be dangerous, pressing the action early on Saturday. Wladimir will have to move a lot inside the ring,” Pulev told RingTV. “This is going to be the most important fight of my career to date.”

The fight will be televised in the United States by HBO beginning at 4:45 p.m. ET/PT.