Pulev vs Chisora: Crunch Time in Hamburg

Pulev vs Chisora – When ranked heavyweight contenders Kubrat Pulev and Dereck Chisora appeared separately on a Sauerland Event undercard last December, they created a solid buzz of anticipation regarding an eventual elimination bout between the two sluggers.

That clash ended up being scheduled sooner rather than later, and thus, there’s another interesting contest on the heavyweight landscape this weekend. While it’s unlikely that Chisora or Pulev possesses sufficient technique or power to capture any of the division’s currently splintered title hardware, each man has demonstrated the ability to give most of the ranked big boys a tough night’s work.

Tonight in Hamburg should be a tough night’s work for both brawlers. 34 year old Pulev, 22-1, weighed in at 249. Chisora, 25-5, was 241. It’s doubtful either man will land close to that number of punches, but they don’t have to. One solid combination from these big punchers could mean the end of the fight.

While this contest fits the bill just about perfectly for both participants in terms or risk and reward, there is indeed a risk of a crushing loss. Either Pulev or Chisora might have got a title shot just by hanging around and not getting beaten.

Much of each man’s marketing value hinges on an intangible, comparative performance factor against recognized competitors. Among others, Pulev has faced Wladimir Klitschko, while Chisora has faced Tyson Fury, David Haye and Vitali Klitschko. The winner of Pulev – Chisora could be an attractive, qualified opponent for any of the current belt holders.

In the case of Anthony Joshua, Joshua has repeatedly stated his understanding of the need for further skill building tutorials. The winner of Chisora-Pulev can provide exactly that, with recognized promotional value, and also a relatively minimal risk of loss.

Each boxer seems to recognize the opportunity this bout represents. Pulev is looking to erase his debacle against Klitschko. Chisora signed with Sauerland half a year ago, seeking just this type encounter, so it looks like a very good move on his part, at least until the bell rings. Whether Chisora is well-liked or not, his outrageous personality and behavior is widely known among fans.

Pulev has done less to distinguish himself from the pack, remaining one of many typical euro-bruisers, a’la Ruslan Chagaev or Sultan Ibragimov. Whether Pulev is one of the last of a dying, duke-out dinosaur breed could well be decided.

Who moves up the fistic food chain? This is one of those coin flips in which recent form seems to favor Pulev, but the vibe indicates Chisora. Thus, these post weigh-in propositions :

Pulev by decision : 70 – 30

Chisora by decision : 30 – 70

Pulev by KO :  40 – 60

Chisora by KO : 60 – 40

Chisora has a very good chance of scoring a knockdown. Whether he can capitalize on that seems the biggest question about who wins tonight.