British heavyweight Hughie Fury returns to our screens this weekend when he travels to Bulgaria to face Kubat Pulev in an eliminator match for the IBF title. The winner of this bout becomes the mandatory challenger to Anthony Joshua, who in addition to owning the IBF silverware, also wears the WBA and WBO straps. Pulev vs. Fury is set for 27th October in Sofia.
|Kubrat Pulev||vs.||Hughie Fury|
|194 cm||Height||198 cm|
|W W W W W||Last five fights||W W W L W|
Pulev (25-1-0) has spend a considerable amount of time rebuilding his career after his milestone knockout loss to Wladimir Klitschko in 2015. Since then, the Cobra fought three more times in Germany, winning twice by points and once with a KO. After switching base to fight in his native Sofia, Pulev forced Samuel Peters into retirement and went the distance with Kevin Johnson, clocking up two further wins to an already admirable fight record.
Fury (21-1-0) is coming off an emphatic win over domestic rival Sam Sexton back in May, 2018. His TKO has given upped his stock as a puncher in the heavyweight division, at a time when questions were being asked over his long-term prospects as an elite fighter in this modern era. Admittedly those doubts only emerged in the aftermath of Fury’s loss to New Zealander, Joseph Parker in a fight that never really caught fire.
Pulev vs. Fury Prediction: Fury to win outright
At best, one could suggest Pulev has underachieved in the heavyweight division and is likely to remembered as a gatekeeper rather than a tile challenger. At least on paper, that’s how the story unravels. Fury has less miles on the clock and along with cousin Tyson, is hellbent on resurrecting a crusade to challenge for Joshua’s portfolio of belts. For that reason, we believe the British contender has a strong chance off pulling off the upset.
If there’s a blueprint to beating Pulev it’s staying at range at pot-shotting the Bulgarian to score a 10-9 round. Rinse and repeat to pave the way for a convincing, albeit dull unanimous win. There are countless examples of judges in Europe awarding a points decision to undeserved winners, so let’s hope Fury’s performance alleviates any doubt in their minds as to who claims the mandatory IBF spot.
Pulev vs. Fury Betting Tips
Pulev fighting in his home country, it’s easy to see why the bookmakers are giving him the nod on this one. Backing the Bulgarian beast to win outright gives odds of 5/6, whilst betting on Fury to take the win is a more generous line of 2/1. If you’re looking for ways to make money on this fight, or simply wondering how to bet on a realistic market, then here are our picks for single and multiple stakes.
Pulev to win by KO/TKO
50% of the Cobra’s victories have finished inside 12 rounds, coming against fighters on an incestuous German circuit who never reached the heights themselves. The Bulgarian hasn’t earned a win by knockout in over three years. Aged 37, his best days as a KO artist are arguably behind him, although there’s is truth in the old adage that a fighter’s punch is the last asset to go. If he can land his power jab and follow through with the overhand right as per his default line of attack then he could surprise us all. A risky bet with high compensation.
Fury to win on points
Half of Fury’s wins in the boxing ring have come via a points decision, so don’t raise an eyebrow if his fight against Pulev also goes the distance too. The British heavyweight moves well for a man of such physical stature and isn’t short of ideas on how to evade incoming flurries of punches. If he stays sharp throughout the entirety of the fight and leans on that rangy jab, then he has every chance of making this event his own.
Fight to go the distance
Both fighters have a large equity share of points wins in their lockers which is why we are predicting this heavyweight encounter will see the back end of 12 rounds. As minor criticisms of Fury, his work rate can drop during a fight and he backs off when other heavy-hitters sense blood. Likewise with Pulev, his textbook combinations carry power and precision but a man of that size is susceptible to taking his foot off the gas too.
Fight to end rounds 9-12
Something tells us that this IBF eliminator is going to take a while to warm up. It won’t be pretty hence why we’re pointing to a late win or even a points decision as plausible outcomes. Bear in mind Pulev’s age as a factor for why Fury might cause a potential stoppage or forced retirement, should the fight not go the full distance.