Kubrat Pulev vs Andrzej Wawrzyk Preview December 14th , 2023
Heavyweight Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria returns to the ring this Thursday, December 14th when he meets fellow veteran Andrzej Wawrzyk of Poland. The 10-rounder from Costa Mesa, California can be seen live in most nations on FITE TV, which I believe has been renamed Triller. Pulev last fought in July, 2022 when he was edged by Dereck Chisora via an exciting 12-round split decision while Wawrzyk last saw action in July when he stopped Kamil Bodzioch in just 142 seconds. Pulev’s battle against Chisora was a rematch as Pulev edged him by a 12-round split decision in 2016 for the vacant European Heavyweight Belt.
Pulev vs Wawrzyk Betting Odds
- Andrzej Wawrzyk +1000
- Kubrat Pulev -2000
Pulev is now 42 years old and before being stopped by Anthony Joshua in the ninth round in December, 2020 had won eight straight fights since being stopped by Wladimir Klitschko in the fifth round in November, 2014. In fact, those two attempts at winning a heavyweight title were the only two defeats Pulev had suffered in his pro career until losing to Chisora the last time out. This means he enters the ring this weekend with a mark of 29-3 with 14 Ko’s.
Pulev’s a former 2008 Olympian who enjoyed a fine amateur career. He made his pro debut in 2009 and has fought 234 rounds since. He isn’t really known as a knockout artist by any means as just 48.3 per cent of his wins have come by stoppage and he hasn’t scored a knockout since March, 2019 when he halted Bogdan Dinu in the seventh round. Hos power shouldn’t be underestimated though as he fought former UFC Champion Frank Mir a couple of years ago in a mixed-martial arts contest and stopped him in the first round.
The big Bulgarian stands just over 6-feet-4-inches tall with a 79.5-inch reach. He stopped Alexander Dimitrenko in 11 rounds in May, 2012 for the European Heavyweight Title and then stopped Alexander Ustinov in the same round four months later. He beat the aging Tony Thompson by unanimous decision in 2013 and stopped Joey Abell the same year. He also has wins over Hughie Fury, Samuel Peter, Michael Sprott, Kevin Johnson, Dominick Guinn, Derric Rossy, Matt Skelton, Jerry Forrest, Travis Walker and Zack Page.
Pulev has good boxing skills and understands the importance of distance and timing but doesn’t really have the one-punch power to stop skilled opponents and often has to go the distance. Since turning pro he’s won the European Heavyweight Title twice as well as the IBF International Heavyweight Crown and the WBA Inter-Continental Heavyweight title. He may be underrated by many due to his age but still seems to possess enough skills and power to compete.
As for Wawrzyk, he’s 36 years old and climbs through the ropes with a mark of 34-2 with 20 Ko’s and has boxed 176 rounds since making his pro debut in 2006 following his amateur career. He hasn’t faced the same calibre of boxers that Pulev has but is an inch taller as he measures 6-foot-5 and has a 79-inch reach with a good jab. He’s quite mobile in the ring but isn’t always as busy as he should be when it comes to throwing punches.
Wawrzyk has a bit more power than Pulev as 58.8 per cent of his wins have come by stoppage, including his last seven in a row. His first defeat came at the hands of Alexander Povetkin by third-round stoppage in a shot at the WBA Heavyweight Title in 2013 and his other loss was in September, 2022 when he was halted in the second round by Michal Boloz. His biggest wins have been over the likes of Denis Bakhtov, Tomasz Bonin, Devin Vargas, Danny Williams, Frans Botha and Albert Sosnowski.
Along the way, Wawrzyk das captured the vacant Polish Heavyweight title three times as well as the vacant WBC Youth, and WBC CISBB Belts. He hasn’t always been active though as Wawrzyk didn’t fight at all after September, 2016 until six years later when he was stopped by Michal Boloz in September, 2022. however he fought again 10 months later and stopped Kamil Bodzioch in the very first round.
Pulev has good boxing skills for a big guy and while he isn’t really built for speed he has lost just three times in his career and two of those were in world title fights. He’s proven to be more than a handful for most opponents but he’ll have some ring rust as he hasn’t fought in close to a year-and-a-half. Of course, Wawrzyk has fought just twice in the past six years though. This is a pretty even matchup although the odds don’t reflect that and no outcome will be a surprise here at this stage of their careers and due to their advanced ages. I’m leaning towards Pulev though but his chin will need to hold out.
I’ll go with Pulev here but Wawrzyk could surprise him.
Play: Pulev -2000 @ BetOnline.ag
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