Pulev outpointed Hughie Fury today in Sofia, Bulgaria, wining an IBF heavyweight eliminator fight on scores of 115-113, 117-111, and 118-110.
Fury, 24 years of age, came up short in his second major fight, following a 2017 loss to then-WBO titleholder Joseph Parker.
It was a tough night for Fury (21-2, 11 KO), who suffered a bad cut on his left eye in the 2nd round, and spent much of the fight on his back foot. Fury constantly attempted to make Pulev (26-1, 13 KO) fall for his feints and make a mistake, but it never really happened.
Fury was seldom able to land good shots, particularly with his right hand, but never established any real rhythm, and started to fatigue later on in the match. Pulev, on the other hand, was consistent throughout the 12 rounds and still proved that at age 37, even with a long ring layoff, that he is, in fact, still a contender in this division.
Anthony Joshua, who has the IBF title along with the WBA and WBO belts, is scheduled to return in April 2019 at Wembley Stadium. The lead contender for that fight is thought to be Dillian Whyte, but the IBF could potentially order the Pulev fight next, or it may wait until later next year. But at some point, Pulev will have his opportunity to seize the crown.