This weekend heavyweight Tony Thompson is back in action against Kubrat Pulev in a final eliminator to face Wladimir Klitschko.
Thompson aged 41 has hit the headlines in recent times following his back-to-back victories over British prospect David Price.
Many believed that Price would walk through Thompson and that he was just a stepping stone for Price on his way to the top. Wow they were wrong. Thompson has proved what a good boxer he still is and that you write him off at your own peril following 2 TKO wins this year.
Pulev aged 32 is a less well known quantity but holds an undefeated record of 17-0. Pulev had a very good amateur career which included medals at the World Amateur Championships, European Amateur Championships and EU Amateur Championships.
Pulev has beaten the likes of Alexander Povetkin and Odlanier Solis in the amateur ranks and is clearly a good boxer. The presence of such a distinguished amateur pedigree shows that Pulev is a technically sound boxer and will be a tough test for Thompson.
Thompson goes into this fight with vastly more experience than Pulev and with an impressive record of 38 wins and 3 losses. Thompson will look to utilise his experience over Pulev and I’m sure will have a few veteran tactics in mind for their bout.
Pulev has been fairly inactive of recent times with his last fight taking place last September against the then unbeaten Alexander Ustinov. Pulev dispatched Ustinov in the 11th round following a dominant display.
Pulev the current European heavyweight champion has tried several times to get an opponent since for the final eliminator bout but both Tyson Fury (who now faces David Haye in a huge fight) and Tomasz Adamek turned down the chance.
I am expecting this to be a close and tense fight with both men extremely determined to win. Thompson will be aiming at his 3rd shot at Wladimir and Pulev will be looking for his first world title shot. Pulev is not a huge puncher and instead looks to use his jab to dominate fights. Thompson will look to get close to Pulev and negate the jab which will discomfort the Bulgarian and put him under real pressure.
The two men are of similar heights with Pulev standing at 6ft 4 and Thompson at 6ft 5. This means that no fighter has a great natural advantage that they can look to make the most of. For this reason Thompson’s greater experience may be the key factor.
I am predicting another win here for Tony Thompson. I just think that his extra experience will be key and that he will know what to do if the going gets tough in there this weekend.