Bulgaria's Kubrat Pulev: I Am On Par with Klitschko
"For quite a while now I feel on par with Klitschko; he is in no way superior to me," said Bulgarian professional boxer Kubrat Pulev upon his return to Bulgaria.
Pulev spoke in the aftermath of his IBF heavyweight eliminator win against US' Tony Tompson.
Pulev outpointed the American veteran and is now set to challenge Wladimir Klitschko's title.
His last adversary for the IBF top will be determined at an October 5 game between Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin.
"I am Bulgarian, thus I am stronger than the other big names. It would be nice to have some more matches before the final, but this depends on the international federation. Training, no matter how hard, is not like the official ring. We must be down to earth. I do not want to fight against someone, pocket several millions and come home. I do no fight for money even though money is also important. But it is more important to grab the world title for Bulgaria," said the boxer, adding, most likely, his faceoff with Klitschko would be held in Europe since they are both European.
Pulev AKA the Big Cobra also told how he felt down after the Beijing Olympics when everyone in the sport had decided that they were the end of his career as he did not achieve much. He thanked the majority of Bulgarians for their support and for giving him the energy to move forward.
Regarding the match with Tompson, Pulev admitted he had been tempted to knockout him, but refrained as he did not want to risk the bigger bid.
"I stuck to my plan and I dictated the match the entire time. This was one of the most important wins in my career; a win against a very strong rival. I showed that tiny Bulgaria can be on the highest level. Tompson is number one in the US. This was like Bulgaria against America. And we won," said the Big Cobra.
On the subject of the European title, Pulev was firm he could get it back anytime.
"In the past I looked in owe at the world rang list. And now I am among the top three. I did it with persistence, hard work and faith," the boxer stated, pointing out that professional box is a brutal game when one blow could decide the outcome.
He is currently IBF International Heavyweight champion (2011) and European Boxing Union heavyweight champion (2012).
Pulev was awarded the prize of Bulgarian athlete of the year for 2012.
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