Bulgarian-born heavyweight boxer Kubrat Pulev has settled in Germany during his seven-year professional career and has never boxed in his native country. But this will change on Saturday. Pulev is excited to box at Armeec Arena in his hometown of Sofia, Bulgaria, where he will face former world champion Samuel Peter in a 12-round match for the regional belt.
“This time, everything is different,” said Pulev at his public training this week, where fans greeted him like a hero with his famed German coach Ulli Wegner. “Because this is my home, the city I was born in and the city I grew up in. This is my nation, my people, we share the same blood. I feel a great honor to have the opportunity to make this nation and my fellow countrymen happy with a great victory, ”he added. Pulev (23-1, 12 KOs) won his first 20 fights, including a notable victory against Tony Thompson, Alexander Ustinov and Alexander Dimitrenko, to earn a mandatory for a title shot against then-world champion Wladimir Klitschko. They met in November 2014 and Klitschko erased him with a fifth round knockout, that was the Knockout of the Year on ESPN.com. After that devastating loss, Pulev has won three in a row, including a significant victory in his last game, by split decision, to win the vacant European title against Dereck Chisora in May. In his 36-year-old rival, Pulev will be facing a fighter with a great name, but who has become blurred for the eyes of many.
Peter was once regarded as the future of the Heavyweight division and, in 2008, he knocked out Oleg Maskaev in the sixth round to win a world title. But Peter failed in his first defense against Vitali Klitschko in an eight-round knockout loss. Peter, who also has two losses to Wladimir Klitschko, has never been the same since. Peter (36-5, 29KOs) was born in Nigeria but has lived in Las Vegas for many years, retiring from boxing in 2011, after two consecutive setbacks, one against Klitschko in their rematch in 2010, and then against Robert. Helenius. Peter came back on a poor level and had a win in 2014 and in the same vein he signed a win last month in Mexico to heat up the main fight of the show with Pulev. Peter said that he is fit and clear-minded to ensure his first significant win since he defeated Maskaev. “I’m in good shape and ready to fight,” said Peter.
“The plan is simple, I came here to knock out Pulev and take that belt and my money back with me to Las Vegas.” Backing the role, Tervel Pulev, 33, Kubrat’s younger brother and a bronze medalist at the London 2012 Olympics in the Heavyweight category, will make his professional debut against Tomislav Rudan (6-15-1, 2 KOs ), 28 years old, originally from Croatia. “I would motivate my brother to train hard and to follow his dreams. He is a good boxer and together we are going to make Saturday a great night for Bulgaria, ”said Pulev.