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HBO Boxing: Klitschko signs three fight deal with network

MW Updated
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Longtime Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko is on lock down by HBO, having signed a 3-fight deal with the network.

The first of those three fights is today as Klitschko faces top contender Kubrat Pulev.

The Klitschko-Pulev Heavyweight title fight will air live on HBO at 1:45 pm PT/4:45 pm ET.

Pulev (20-0) is a 33 year-old Bulgarian fighter with a few good wins on his resume, including a unanimous decision victory over the always-resurgent Tony Thompson in 2013.

However, Pulev seems like nothing more than a par for the course for Wlad as he seemingly doesn't really possess enough speed, power or finesse to be a major threat to the champion. However, he has some impressive wins and may very well be the 'best of the rest.'

For Wladimir, today's bout may be just another title defense but you have to start wondering about his future. Given he's 38 years old, has a child on the way and has earned enormous sums of money, how long will he be motivated to fight?

And the fact that there are seemingly no big-name potential opponents on the horizon may not make things easier.

So who will HBO attempt to pair him with if he's victorious today?

Some will say Deontay Wilder (32-0, 32 KO's,). The young man shows promise but let's be honest, he hasn't exactly fought a "Who's Who" list of heavyweights.

If Wilder defeats Bermane Stiverne perhaps the former will generate enough buzz to create major hype for a potential Klitschko vs Wilder bout?

Another guy who may become a threat is Philadelphia's Bryant Jennings (19-0,) - But like Wilder, he hasn't beaten the best, although his controversial win over a pretty game and talented Mike Perez certainly raised a few eyebrows.

Tyson Fury (22-0) is a fun fighter with some good wins but can he really back-up all of his smack talk? To many, he is best known for being a loudmouth who once accidentally punched himself during a fight.

Fury faces rival Dereck Chisora in a rematch later this month. If he beats Chisora again, and does so convincingly, perhaps he will become a marquee opponent for Wlad.

Until a big name adversary arises out of the morass that is the heavyweight division, Wladimir will just continue to dispose of little-known opponents.
Will he remain motivated?
Who knows?
What we do know, at the very least, is that Klitschko intends to fight at least two more times after today - And we know those fights will be broadcast on HBO.


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