This Saturday in Germany sees a clash of Heavyweight fringe contenders when undefeated Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev faces the almost ageless Tony Thompson
By Niall Doran
What a weekend of boxing we have in store on all fronts. Its always good to have some heavyweight action to look forward to and Pulev vs Thompson in Germany this weekend provides the first real test for Pulev to see where he is really at on the world stage in the heavyweight division. This fight in essence will also act as a title eliminator for the right to face current heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko, so there is everything on the line for both men.
Then again I like so many people before have written off Tony Thompson, namely in his two contests against David Price, can he shock the boxing world a third time? Again I’m not sure he can, sorry Tony. The fight does come at a great time in Thompson’s career though, with Tony riding the crest of a wave at the minute, incredibly coming off back to back stoppage wins against previously highly touted British heavyweight prospect David Price. On both occasions the consensus was universally within the boxing world that Price in all likely hood should have blasted a 41 year old Tony Thompson out of there. Tony thought different however, upsetting the apple cart twice.
Thus he finds himself in the ring with a real Bulgarian beast on Saturday night, who I suspect will care little for Thompson’s recent achievements and resurgence. Pulev may not be a man known to many casual boxing observers and fans, but make no mistake this man is as formidable a prospect as any in the current sub standard heavyweight division at present. He has fought decent names early on in his career like Matt Skelton, Dominick Guinn, Michael Sprott, Travis Walker and most recently took the 0 from previously undefeated Alexander Ustinov by way of 11th round KO, all be it nearly a year ago now.
This inactivity would be a slight concern for him to be fair, coupled with the fact Thompson has been very active this year. Pulev is also a man who has great amateur pedigree though, and strikes me as a real professional who trains year round. So perhaps this inactivity wont be as much as a factor as some think and could in fact make the big man from Bulgaria even more hungry to get back to work.
Thompson either way you look at him is a tricky operator and even at the ripe old age of 41, is still a crafty enough veteran to cause most heavyweights out there problems. He also has a nack of hearing the final bell and possess a decent chin. For that reason I’m not too sure how this fight could exactly end up but I have a feeling Pulev in some shape or form should get the win, be it by stoppage or on points.
I’d hate to be wrong three times in the same year when it comes to picking against ‘The Tiger’ but I think all good things eventually come to an end, including Thompson’s remarkable momentum in 2013. Then again, maybe he’ll prove me and many others wrong yet again.
Pulev has my pick this Saturday in Germany, more than likely by decision in what could be a cagey affair. But at the same time it is heavyweight boxing, so don’t be surprised if Pulev stops Thompson and brings halt to the American’s recent resurgence and continues the trend of impressive wins for Eastern European fighters recently.
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