Kubrat Pulev vs Hughie Fury

Hughie Fury and Kubrat Pulev meet in Sofia, Bulgaria on Saturday in what should be a huge test for the Briton.

Pulev has just one defeat on his record, after being stopped by Wladimir Klitschko in his only world title shot so far.

The winner of Saturday’s showdown will move closer to a chance to challenge for one of the biggest prizes and for 37-year-old Pulev, a victory will be crucial if he is to secure another world title fight.

Fury also fell short in his only world-title fight after being beaten on points by Joseph Parker.  The Stockport-born heavyweight and his team felt he deserved to beat Parker, but in truth he didn’t really do enough to wrestle the WBO title away from the New Zealander.

The 24-year-old was last seen outclassing Sam Sexton to claim a stoppage win in the fifth round, but Pulev is a massive step up in class – and this will arguably be a bigger test for Fury than his defeat to Joseph Parker was.

Tyson Fury’s cousin has home advantage when he took on Parker but in his bout against Pulev, his opponent will be heavily backed by a partisan crowd.

Fury, who hasn’t fought outside of the UK since 2015, will need to be on top form to secure a win over experienced campaigner Pulev – but he may have enough quality about him to be the first man to see off the Bulgarian in a home fight.

Fury can take a step towards title shot

Pulev is the 1.76 favourite and justifiably so given the standard of opponent he has beaten.  ‘The Cobra’ goes into the bout following victories over Dereck Chisora, Samuel Peter and Kevin Johnson, but Fury offers a different kind of challenge.

The British hopeful is rated at 2.15 to secure the win and he does have the tools to emerge victories, but the big questions are over his work rate.

Fury is the taller man and, like his former world champion cousin, has exceptional technical ability and footwork – particularly for a man of his size. The younger Fury also has real power in his shots and knows how to work the body, but he doesn’t always show these attributes.

If Fury is fully focused for the whole fight and keeps his work rate up, he should be able to land the more eye catching shots and claim a win.

A points win for ‘The Fist of Fury’ could be a solid option, given his KO record isn’t great, with 11 of his 21 successes coming inside the distance. There is always a danger when backing an ‘away’ fighter to win on points as the judges could side with the home man in a close contest – but Fury will be aware of this and that should provide the motivation he needs to make sure he does that little bit extra to ensure he gets the decision.

Both fighters are durable and backing the fight to go the distance should also pay off on Saturday night.