Kubrat Pulev and Dereck Chisora go head-to-head in a pivotal heavyweight bout today in Hamburg, Germany, with the vacant European title on the line, and more importantly, a shot at the IBF heavyweight belt currently held by Anthony Joshua.
TV coverage is set to begin in Germany on SAT1 at 4:50 p.m. ET, and the fight will also be carried live on AWE in the United States and Sky Sports 2 in the United Kingdom.
Pulev (22-1, 12 KO) has won two straight fights following a crushing defeat against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014, while Chisora (25-5, 17 KO) has won five straight after a rematch loss to Tyson Fury in 2014. Historically, Chisora has fallen short against his better opponents, but neither he nor Pulev has taken a real challenge recently, so today we'll get to see where they're really at in their careers, and how much of a threat the winner may be to Joshua.
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Kubrat Pulev def. Dereck Chisora by split decision (116-112, 113-115, 118-110)
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ROUND BY ROUND
KUBRAT PULEV vs DERECK CHISORA
Round 1: Pulev with a jab, Chisora jabbing to the body and trying to put some pressure on. Pulev ties him up. Chisora warned about using his head inside. Chisora throws a wild overhand right, blocked. Pulev misses a right, ties up again. Referee HELMET CAM. Fascinating. Another clinch. Chisora warned for something again. Chisora whacking at the body, another clinch, Chisora again gets a warning. Pulev jabbing, not really landing, but then he does land a hard right cross. Clinch, but Chisora trying to fight out of it. Pulev looking for that 1-2 again. Chisora with a right to the body. Pulev misses a long right, tied up again. Chisora misses a swing to the body. Pulev with a jab, then another left and a right. Pulev 10-9
Round 2: Another right from Pulev. Chisora just not letting that shot miss. Chisora getting caught on the way in with the right hand. Pulev just looks like the sharper, better fighter so far. Which is not a surprise. Series of hard jabs from Pulev. As they're talking about on Sky, Chisora does have a habit of getting frustrated and kind of giving up in fights. Good right from Chisora does get in. Chisora trying to whack away at the body, but Pulev easily defending against that. Pulev 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Pulev continuing to pop the jab in there. Moving his upper body a little more right now. Chisora doing nothing sharp so far, just kind of clumsy brawling, which Pulev is easily able to handle. Right uppercut from Pulev. Chisora gets a little hook past the glove, around the side up top, but Pulev back with another uppercut. Another uppercut, that one thrown a bit too far. Chisora a bit better this round, some more work on the inside from him. Chisora misses a wild overhand right at the end of the round. Chisora 10-9, Pulev 29-28
Round 4: Chisora targeting the body again to start this round, Pulev trying to tie him up, Chisora keeps whacking at the body. Pulev with the jab again, more clinching, Chisora again warned, this time for elbows, it appears. This referee sucks. Overhand right from Chisora, the same punch he's missed with a few times, this time it gets home, even if not at maximum impact. Right hand from Pulev at range, and then another. Now he's got Chisora on the ropes and Chisora is staying there. Pulev with a long right again, and now Chisora goes into the corner. Right hand to the body from Pulev. Pulev jabbing and keeping Chisora still. Chisora eats a right, eats a jab, eats a 1-2. Chisora finally fights his way off the ropes. Pulev 10-9, 39-37
Round 5: Pulev with more right hands about a minute into this round. Chisora having a lot of trouble with Pulev boxing at range and the long right hands. Chisora with a jab to the body, working a bit more again. When he works he can do a little, but Pulev's not letting him work enough. Pulev with another right hand late. Chisora still struggling. Pulev 10-9, 49-46
Round 6: Pulev with the jabs again. Chisora tries to get inside, gets tied up easily. Chisora whacking away inside again. Pace is still being controlled by Pulev at distance, but Chisora is doing what he can to make it rough inside. Good right from Chisora. Pulev cut near the left eye. Right from Pulev. Pulev 10-9, 59-55
Round 7: Pulev controlling again. Chisora is a weird fighter to watch. He just gives up at times, it seems. It's strange. Pulev's right working again, Chisora does land one right in return off the ropes, but Pulev banks another round. Pulev 10-9, 69-64
Round 8: Chisora now getting openly angry with the referee. The ref isn't very good, but it's an indication that Chisora is frustrated. Another right from Pulev, Chisora sticking himself in the corner again. He gets a break but just stays in the corner. Pulev throwing big rights and Chisora is doing nothing now. He's giving up. Chisora looking at the referee while getting jabbed. Pulev not even pressing but dominates the round. Pulev 10-9, 79-73
Round 9: Chisora now showing effort again to start this round, and he's really throwing hands now, trying to bulldoze through Pulev in the clinch. Pulev with a couple shots, but Chisora is just bullying him now. It's about all he can do, and it's something. Referee warning him again. Or talking to him. Or whatever. Chisora with a wild high right hand, caught Pulev perhaps near the back of the head, but if so it was Pulev's doing. Pulev looking a little tired, being forced to work just to keep Chisora back. Pulev constantly holding to the point the referee should do something. Chisora 10-9, Pulev 88-83
Round 10: Right hand from Pulev. Chisora throws and misses a wild right, then does a strange little shimmy. Right hand from Pulev as Chisora is walked to the ropes again, now Chisora comes forward, another clinch. Chisora aiming for the body with a jab. Chisora slowed down a bit again this round, but Pulev not doing a ton, either. It's a stealable round if he can do something in the last minute, but it's not happening. Might have blown himself up a bit in the ninth. Pulev 10-9, 98-92
Round 11: Pulev with another nice flurry with Chisora in the corner. Chisora still trying, but when he's not an absolute bulldozer, he just can't quite hang with Pulev. Chisora fights out, but puts himself back in another corner, and tries to throw a long right out of there. Pulev avoids it. Pulev 10-9, 108-101
Round 12: Chisora trying to do a little this round, but Pulev whacking him around anyway. This was just Pulev's night. It was ultimately a fairly easy fight for him. Pulev 10-9, 118-110