By: Sean Crose
A Bloodied Pulev Conquers Dinu On ESPN Top RankCard
Kubat Pulev literally jumped into the ring at the Hangar in Southern California Saturday night to make himself familiar to American audiences. Although well known among hard core fight fans as a man who challenged, and lost to, Wladimir Klitschko while the Ukrainian was still king of the heavyweight division, the 26-1 Pulev was still essentially obscure in among American sports fans. An impressive performance against the 18-1 Bogdan Dinu in front of ESPN cameras would surely change all that. And so Bulgaria’s Pulev answered the opening bell for ESPN’s live Top Rank broadcast on Saturday night determined to shine.
The scheduled 10 round affair began with both men firing jabs at each other. Pulev, however, quickly, if subtly, established himself as the more aggressive of the two, walking his man down and making Dinu fight off the back foot. An active policeman in his home country of Romania, Dinu was coming off a loss to Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, who will face heavyweight king Anthony Joshua this spring at Madison Square Garden. The 6’5 Dinu hurt his man badly in the fourth round. Sure enough, Pulev, who was bleeding profusely, appeared to look in real trouble. Needless to say, Pulev fought back bravely towards the end of round, perhaps even desperately.
The doctor stepped into the ring at the beginning of the fifth, but Pulev assured him he was okay to continue. Needless to say, ESPN’s broadcast team made it clear that the cut would be very hard to contain as the fight continued. Still, Pulev fought quite effectively throughout the round. Pulev continued to fight hard in the sixth. Pulev then began the seventh in ferocious fashion, sending his man to the canvas less than a minute after the opening bell. The problem was that Pulev landed a hard shot on the back of Dinu’s head after the Romanian had hit the mat.
The ring doctor was called in, but Dinu said he couldn’t get up. The man did indeed get up seconds later, however, after the referee ruled the late blow accidental, and was cleared to continue. Pulev was deducted a point. A few seconds later, Dinu was down again. He got up at the count of nine, but then went down for a third time later in the round. The fight was wisely stopped.
Earlier in the evening, Jessie Magdalano, 26-2, bested the 30-6 Rico Ramos in a ten round featherweight affair via unanimous decision.
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