The Sauerland Brothers, Kalle and Nisse, are hopeful their man, Kubrat Pulev, will get next crack at Wladimir Klitschko, who only needed about 50% of his skills to drop and stop Alex Leapai, an immobile Samoan born Aussie who landed ten or fewer punches in a bout stopped in round five, in Germany on Saturday.
A Klitschko-Pulev bout would be an IBF mandatory; Pulev, from Bulgaria, is the IBF No. 1. "That fight is well overdue," the Sauerlands told me. "The letters should go out Monday to begin negotiations."
The last IBF mandatory, for the record, was Wlad vs. Tony Thompson, in the summer of 2012. The rules stipulate a champ must do a mandatory defense once every nine months, after initially being given a year to make ones first defense...so yes, it seems Wlad is overdue.
And, pray tell, how do we know that Pulev (age 32; from Bulgaria; 20-0 with 11 KOs) will have any better luck than Leapai?
"His size, physical strength and strong East European school boxing technique" is how, the Sauerlands told me.
Pulev holds a UD12 win over Thompson, who was stopped by Wlad twice, in 2008 (KO11) and 2012 (TKO6). At 6-4 1/2, at around 250-plus pounds, at least he should be physically, on paper anyway, a better match for Wlad than some others we've seen.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV