Pulev - Thompson: BA Staff Picks
I have a feeling Pulev will stop Thompson late here. Kubrat is on a nice little run of stoppages and I see Thompson folding late through the pressure the Bulgarian will be adding.
Pulev against Thompson is one of the best heavyweight fights that can be made which doesn't include a Klitschko. Thompson over recent years has only been beaten by Wlad, and other than a trip to the canvas against David Price, has really not struggled during this recent period. Pulev has faced a number of former European hopefuls and managed to dispose of them rather easily.
I am struggling to make a pick on this one. If Pulev wins, he deserves a chance at a Klitschko and that fight should be made (barring a Povetkin victory over Wlad) as this is an eliminator. Thompson would theoretically deserve a shot at Wlad again, but what's the point? As much as I like Thompson, I want to see Pulev pull it out so we have a fresh match at heavyweight. Expect this to be a nip and tuck battle early, with Pulev slowly gaining the upper hand and taking Thompson out late.
The recent success of Tony Thompson just goes to show how one's fortunes can change in this game. To think many, myself included, probably wrote him off as some sort of gatekeeper after the second fight against Wladimir Klitschko.
Two fights later and he is on the cusp of another shot with another huge pay day in the waiting; this of course purely depends if he can get past the highly respected Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev. The 32 year old Pulev was an outstanding amateur however as a professional he is still somewhat of an unknown amongst non-hardcore fans.
Thompson has resurrected his career, however I fully believe that resurrection is going to end this weekend. Pulev isn't a huge puncher by most heavyweight standards, but his boxing ability is not in doubt and I expect him to get a foothold in the fight by around the mid-way point as Thompson may start to tire.
Thompson of course will have to be respected, he has enough pop in him to keep any fighter honesty but as his stamina begins to wane Pulev should start to dominate and begin to pull away on the scorecards.
Pulev to win by decision.
Pulev by UD. Outworks and outmuscles Thompson in a slow-paced fight.
I rate Pulev highly and believe heavyweights have been avoiding him. I think Tony will go into this fight full of confidence after his two upset victories over David Price but Pulev is a different animal. He has been waiting for his big chance at a Heavyweight title shot and knows that a win here will get him that shot.
I think Pulev will break Tony down using his stiff jab and probably stop him in around 9 rounds once the right hand starts coming into play. I like Tony, he’s a character and the heavyweight division needs them, but, for all our sakes, I hope Pulev wins. I really don’t want to see Klitschko – Thompson III.
All five predict that Kubrat Pulev will defeat Tony Thompson on Saturday.