Held at the 02 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany, and live on Eurosport 2 from 20:00 on Saturday, world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko defends his WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO and Ring titles against number one ranked contender Kubrat Pulev.
The second longest reigning heavyweight champion in history with 21 world title defences, Klitschko has compiled a professional boxing record of 62 wins and three losses, with 52 of his victories coming within the distance.
An intelligent ring general who uses his long, powerful jab to great effect before looking to launch hard right-hands and gradually force a stoppage, Klitschko has not lost a fight in ten years and, given the low quality of the heavyweight division, doesn’t look likely to do so anytime soon. Arguably, however, windmill-style puncher and heavily hyped American contender Deontay Wilder has a punchers chance if they meet down the line, but then that’s a story for another day.
Having easily beaten David Haye and stream of uninspiring but tough fellow Eastern European fighters within that ten year period, Klitschko faces another in that mould with 20-0 Bulgarian Kurbat Pulev. However, unlike many past challengers, the 6ft 4inch Pulev isn’t that much smaller in height and seems unlikely to try and ‘bull-rush’ his opponent to get inside the Klitschko jab.
Indeed, Pulev, who has 11 stoppages from his 20 wins, likes to box from distance, also using his relatively long jab to nullify opponents. The Bulgarian was a decent amateur boxer, earning a bronze medal at the 2005 World Championships, and while a decent puncher, is quite methodical in his approach. Pulev believes that whatever the Ukrainian can do, he can do it better. In short, he believes that he can out-Klitschko Mr. Klitschko.
Klitschko v Pulev betting
Heavyweight champ Klitschko is priced at 1/6 with BetVictor, challenger Pulev is offered at 5/1 by Stan James and an unlikely draw is 28/1 with the same firm. As for method of victory, Klitschko is 4/5 by KO/TKO or DQ with Paddy Power and 11/5 on points with Bet365, while Pulev 17/2 to stop his opponent and 16/1 to emerge victorious by a scorecard verdict with Stan James.
In conclusion, we think that this is going to be a cagey, slow-burner with Klitschko forcing a late stoppage or winning on points. As such, rather than chance the bout going the distance, we’ve opted for over 8.5 total rounds at 10/11 with Paddy Power.
Advised Bet: Over 8.5 Total Rounds at 10/11 with Paddy Power