Two heavyweight boxers, one the champion of the world, the other a top-ranked undefeated challenger. Wladimir Klitschko (62-3-0, 52 KO) vs. Kubrat Pulev (20-0-0, 11 KO), from Hamburg, Germany. Here is our live round-by-round scoring and description of the fight.
The fight is just about to start. Interestingly, Pulev outweighs Klitschko by 1 kilogram.
- Round - Description
- Klitschko holds almost immediately. Pulev connects with a jab, more holding. Pulev looks nearly as tall as Klitschko. Klitschko puts Pulev down with a strong left while Pulev is ducking, he is almost out!!! Pulev down again, fight is almost over. Pulev is nearly out on his feet with a minute left. Pulev is holding on with seconds left in the round...he survives. Klitschko 10-7
- Pulev looks steadier to start the 2nd round, but Klitschko is completely fresh. More holding by both fighters in the first half of the round, hitting the back of the head. Lots of arm-fighting as both fighters try to get their respective jabs through. Confusing round, but Pulev looks like he'll make it a while, which wasn't certain in the first round. Draw, 10-10. Klitschko 20-17
- Fighters trade jabs early, less locking up than before. They're doing a lot of nothing, then locking up. Klitschko connects with a huge right, then tries to smother Pulev...Pulev pushed down again, but gets the 8 count. Klitschko is pummeling Pulev now but he survives...cut under his eye. First time in a long time we've seen full swinging punches from Klitschko. Klitschko 10-8, 30-25.
- Pulev with a good flurry early. Klitschko responds and they tie up. More gamesmanship with arm-fighting, Pulev jumps in with a good right but it wasn't damaging. Pulev jumps in to connect but doesn't quite get there before the tie-up. Pulev's style is leaving him open to Klitschko shots. Pulev did pretty well this round but it was at best a draw. 10-10 Klitschko 40-35
- Great left by Klitschko, who is dancing while Pulev stands still. Klitschko punching from within the tie-up. Klitschko again punches, ties-up. Good shot by Pulev, but Klitschko delivers a killer left hook and Pulev is out!!! Flat on his back, he can't beat the count.
The fight was pretty good, and how good might it have been if Pulev hadn't been hurt in the first round? The problem with Pulev's style is how far he held his hands apart looking for the jab—it left him wide open for Klitschko's straight punches. He avoided those for the most part but once he got dodging or ducking, Wladimir could hit him in other ways.
Pulev showed a lot of toughness and certainly brought the fight to Klitschko, unlike Haye and others, but his style wasn't good for defending against Wladimir's speed and accuracy. Klitschko responded well to Pulev's aggressiveness and didn't crumble like the "old" Wladimir from the early 2000's—he took control of the fight early and had Pulev hurt, and after that it looked just like a matter of time. Either it was going to be a very wide decision or at some point, a knockout. Pulev took a high-risk strategy and Klitschko neutralized that threat.
So once again, there will be no change at the top of the SportsRatings Heavyweight rankings—Wladimir Klitschko remains #1 for about 8 years running now.