Pulev Defeats Fury On Points
Any immediate hopes of Hughie Fury joining his cousin as a world heavyweight champion were dashed last night in Bulgaria. Kubrat Pulev beat Fury on points by scores of 117-111, 118-110 & 115-113 in their IBF final eliminator. Any concerns that Fury would be denied a fair decision were proved irrelevant as Pulev left no doubt that he was the deserved winner.
Pulev just had too much experience and the better technique, and from as early as the 2nd round he always looked the likely winner. Pulev returning after 18-months away showed little sign of ring rust, and after a decent opener for Fury, Pulev quickly gained control of the fight in the 2nd as Fury seemed to be affected by a badly cut left eye.
Only briefly in the 8th did Fury really threaten, and once his attack faded away, Pulev sealed the decision, by winning the remaining 4 rounds on my card. I had it 5-3 in rounds after 8, and Pulev then pulled away to win it by 117-111 in my opinion. One judge had it a far too close 115-113, the other two judges mirrored how I saw the contest.
While it’s far too early to write Fury off, but there does seem to be work to be done on his technique, especially how he throws the right hand. Fury seems to bowl the right hand over, and the better fighters in the heavyweight division will not be unduly concerned by what they saw last night. As in his loss to Joseph Parker, I thought the Pulev fight was winnable, and while Pulev is decent enough, I think Pulev barely makes the top 10 in the heavyweight rankings.
Pulev moves on and should meet Joshua sometime in 2019, Joshua will start a big favourite if and when they do eventually share a ring together. For Fury, as I said pre-fight I fear his best and maybe only chance of winning the world heavyweight title might already have gone.