Kubrat Pulev Decisions Tony Thompson

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Earlier today at the Sport and Congress Center in Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, Kubrat Pulev outpointed red hot American Tony Thompson in an IBF heavyweight eliminator and battle of Top 10 heavyweights. The scores were 116-112, 118-110, 117-111.

With the win, Pulev, who entered as The RING's No. 4 heavyweight, becomes the IBF's mandatory challenger for the winner of Wladimir Klitschko vs Alexander Povetkin.

The Bulgarian simply outboxed Thompson, who turns 42 in October, and was busier and more effective throughout.

Fighting strategically, Pulev utilized his superior speed and technical skills to belt the American with short, quick combos, staying out of harms way and effectively dictating the pace during most of the twelve rounds.

The first three rounds were a bit tentative but Pulev, using cautious aggression, got bold in Round 4. Having benefited from the feeling out process, Pulev started getting a sense of Tony's rhythm and movements and increased the tempo, landing sweet, stiff left jabs followed by hard rights.

Tony wasn't without his moments as he landed well in the seventh stanza but the Pulev came right back in the eighth, asserting himself and taking control.

Thompson, who entered as a 3.25-to-1 betting underdog, tasted the canvas in Round 11 but it was ruled a slip. And in Round 12, the American was jolted again and nearly went down.

Pulev showcased what many of us knew - He has an excellent, educated jab and fights extremely well on the inside and at mid range. Tony tried to foil the Bulgarian's offensives but Kubrat was too sharp and too quick.

The American was, by no means, dominated as he fought well and should still be considered Top 10. 

With the win, Kubrat Pulev becomes the only man, aside from Wladimir Klitschko, to defeat Thompson in the last 13 years.

What's Next for Thompson?
Who knows?

He entered tinight's bout fresh off back-to-back knockout wins over David Price, with the most recent a mere 6-7 weeks ago. 

A win over Pulev would have made Tony the IBF's mandatory challenger but probably wouldn't have done much to enhance public demand for him. However, defeating Chisora, Haye or Fury certainly would have elevated his status, if not in the rankings then certainly from a popularity and marketability standpoint.

Pulev improves to 18-0 (9 KOs) while Thompson drops to 38-4 (28 KOs). 

Pulev vs Thompson video


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