Kubrat Pulev (24-1, 13 KOs) will defend his WBA Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship against former World title challenger Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson (30-7-1, 14 KOs) on Friday, April 28 at the Arena Armeec in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Pulev made a triumphant homecoming on December 3, 2016, fighting for the first time in his home country, and forcing former WBC World Champion Samuel Peter to retire after three rounds in front of a capacity crowd of 15,000 Bulgarian fans.
‘’It was an overwhelming experience for me to receive so much support from the crowd. I could feel the energy surging around the arena, and that gave me the power to win by stoppage,’’ said ‘The Cobra’, who is now looking forward to a second fight on home soil as he aims to secure a second shot at World honours.
‘’My number one goal is to fight for the World title, and on April 28, I will take another step towards achieving this goal. I’m already training hard to prove I am worthy to fight again for the heavyweight crown.
‘’Johnson is a tough opponent. You must only look at his resume to tell this will be a real challenge. He has shared the ring with many World-class fighters like Vitali Klitschko and Anthony Joshua.
‘’I know I will need to be at my best to beat him, but with the help of my coach Ulli Wegner and the support of the Bulgarian people, I’m confident my hand will be raised, and we will be able to celebrate another great night for Bulgarian boxing and another step towards me fulfilling my dream of becoming the Heavyweight Champion of the World.’’
‘’We’re delighted to be returning to the Arena Armeec for what promises to be another great night of boxing on April 28,’’ said promoter Kalle Sauerland. ‘’We have promoted shows all over the World, and I must say, the atmosphere in Sofia was second to none. The support that Kubrat receives from the Bulgarian people is special, and this will help him to reach the top.
‘’He faces a tough test against Kevin Johnson, who having fought many of the biggest names in the heavyweight division, has only been stopped once. Kubrat must prove himself once again, and show that he is ready for a World title challenge.’’
Wallin meets Mandras for WBA Continental title
Otto Wallin (17-0, 11 KOs) will get the chance to claim his first title when he makes his homecoming fight on April 22 against Italian Champion Gianluca Mandras (12-4, 5 KOs) for the WBA Continental Heavyweight Championship.
The 26 year-old from Sundsvall headlines the city’s first professional boxing event, which also features former two-time Olympian Kennedy Katende and female boxing star Mikaela Laurén, with more names to be announced shortly.
‘’I’m really looking forward to this fight,’’ says Wallin. ‘’Winning my first title would be a big step forward for me, and where better to do it than at home.
‘’Mandras is the current Italian Champion, and I’m sure he will provide me with a tough test, but I’m confident that my coach Joey Gamache will provide me with the right game plan to win.
‘’Fighting at home also gives me more motivation. No one is going to come into my backyard and beat me! I will have all my family and friends coming to support me, and I want put on a great show for the whole city to be proud of.
‘’I’ve always dreamed of fighting at home and I’ve always dreamed of winning titles. On April 22, I’m going to have the chance to achieve both of these things.
‘’This is a very important fight for me. Winning the Continental title will improve my rankings with the WBA and bring me closer to challenging for the World title. I’m still young and there is no need to rush, but it’s good to know I’m moving in the right direction.’’
‘’We’re happy to have secured this title opportunity for Otto,’’ said promoter Nisse Sauerland. ‘’And now, it’s up to him to deliver. Mandras is a solid opponent who will be coming to Sundsvall to win, but we believe Otto has what it takes to go all the way, and he can prove that my winning his first title on April 22.’’