Photos: Photo Wende
The European Heavyweight Title is up for grabs for Kubrat Pulev. On May 5 the boxing world will be watching the two WBO world champions Marco Huck (34-2, 25 KOs) and Robert Stieglitz (41-2, 23 KOs) defending their cruiserweight and super-middleweight titles respectively at the Messehalle in Erfurt. But the championship bouts don´t end there. Kubrat Pulev (15-0, 7 KOs) and Alexander “Sascha” Dimitrenko (32-1, 23 KOs) will fight it out for the vacant European crown of the heavyweight division.
On paper it would seem that Dimitrenko has a slight advantage over his opponent. With a height of 1,94-meter Pulev is seven centimeters smaller than Dimitrenko. But that doesn´t bother the Bulgarian one bit. “Size does not matter if the tactics are right,” said a confident Pulev. “In training I have been sparring against taller guys. One was 2,01-meter and one was 2,05-meter.” Dimitrenko himself couldn´t say whether or not his size will tilt the scale in his favor. “We will see what will happen inside the ring.”
The level of experience as a professional boxer also speaks for the German. Pulev, though, knows that he makes up for it through his seemingly countless fights as an amateur. “I have competed in more than 300 fights as an amateur. I even won the European title back in 2008 on that level,” commented the 30-year-old. “I believe that we are on an even playing field looking at our experience.” Dimitrenko himself knows that he doesn´t have an easy challenge on his hands. “You should never underestimate your opponent,” according to the 29-year old.
As the former European champion, Dimitrenko is highly motivated to regain his belt. After suffering an injury during his last fight against Michael Sprott, which ended in a unanimous decision in his favor, the EBU stripped him of the title. Now he is desperate to get it back. “My title was taken off me, unjustified I might add,” so the German. “Therefore I still see it as my belt and I will get it back.” But Pulev will not make it easy for him. According to him it is no question who will be victorious on May 5. “The only thing that I can say for sure is that I will win.”
Although both fighters are convinced that they will be victorious, neither of them could say in what way they will end the fight. “You really can never tell what is going to happen. Every fight and every opponent is different and predictions hard to make,” said the Bulgarian. The only thing that both boxers can guarantee is that it is going to be a great matchup between two rising stars of the division.