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HomeBoxingKubrat Pulev was tackling major COVID-19 symptoms ahead of Anthony Joshua fight

Kubrat Pulev was tackling major COVID-19 symptoms ahead of Anthony Joshua fight

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Bulgarian heavyweight boxer Kubrat Pulev (28–2, 14 KOs) was recently on the spotlight for one of the biggest fights of his career- taking on Anthony Joshua for the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles. However, the former European champion was fighting a different battle already.

A recent claim made by Kubrat Pulev’s co-promoter Ivaylo Gotzev has revealed that the heavyweight contender was tacking serious symptoms of COVID-19 before he faced Joshua on 12th December last year at The SSE Arena in London.

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Kubrat Pulev was tackling major COVID-19 symptoms ahead of Anthony Joshua fight - THE SPORTS ROOM
Anthony Joshua earned a 9th round KO win over Kubrat Pulev in December. (Image Courtesy: Getty)

In a recent interview with Sky Sports, Ivaylo Gotzev asserted that Pulev was not in his peak stature as he took on AJ in the squared circle, but did not want to sound it as an excuse behind the Bulgarian’s 9th round defeat.

“He didn’t really have the power or the strength, nor did he have the sparring that he needed in preparation,” Gotzev said in the interview,” Once again, not excuses, just facts, and that’s what happened.”

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He’s a warrior: Gotzev lauds Kubrat Pulev for not backing out from the fight

Despite the symptoms, Kubrat Pulev was positive for the fight and to contend for the heavyweight belts, as Gotzev stated the pugilist feared that he “might never get a third chance at this fight ever again.”

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Contracting the virus had brought some serious alterations to his training routine, as Pulev’s promoter went on to detail how the boxer still made the strong decision to continue with the fight.

“Within a month prior to the fight, he had COVID. He had to alter his training and quite honestly I thought we were going home. Me to the US, him to Bulgaria. He met with doctors and he made a decision. He is standing by his decision. He’s a warrior,” added Gotzev.

A European Championships as well as European Union Championships gold medallist, Pulev entered professional boxing in 2009. Two years later, he won the IBF International heavyweight title against Travis Walker. In 2016, Pulev defeated Samuel Peter to clinch the WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title.

Other than Joshua, the only boxer who defeated Pulev in his career was none other than the legendary Wladimir Klitschko during their IBF and The Ring heavyweight contest on 15th November 2014 at the O2 World in Hamburg.

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Saikat Banerjee
Saikat Banerjee
A wordsmith who indulges in the world of combat sports, Saikat is an MMA, boxing, and arm wrestling content writer at The MMA India Show and The Sports Room. Apart from combat sports, he also engages in Indian sports content at The Sports India Show. Currently pursuing an MBA from Jadavpur University, Saikat's other interests lie in motorcycling, working out, and travelling.
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