Heavyweight contenders Briton Derek Chisora and Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev are set to face each other for a second time on 9 July at the O2 Arena in London. The pair previously fought in 2016 with Pulev winning via a split decision, however many onlookers felt the Bulgarian won in a much more comfortable fashion than how the judges saw the contest. Since then both fighters have fought skilled opponents and gained valuable big-fight experience which sets up a rematch that is highly anticipated among the boxing community and will also attract casuals as both men are known to be able to give and take a solid shot.
While not a blockbuster card, the undercard still warrants attention. Other fighters on the card are Uzbekistani super welterweight Israil Madrimov, English heavyweight champion Fabio Wardley, Commonwealth and British middleweight titleholder Felix Cash, ground-breaking female Somali boxer Ramla Ali and other exciting prospects.
Chisora, the younger of the two main event fighters at 38, comes into the fight with a record of 32 wins and 12 losses, an unusually high number of defeats for a fighter still campaigning at a fringe world level. Born in Zimbabwe, Chisora moved to the United Kingdom as a teenager and began boxing at Finchley Amateur Boxing Club in Barnet, North London, the same gym fellow heavyweight superstar Anthony Joshua hails from.
Over a professional career which has spanned over 15 years, Chisora has faced Tyson Fury on two occasions, Vitali Klitschko, David Haye, Dillian Whyte twice, Oleksandr Usyk and Joseph Parker in two fights. Although he has come off second best against all of these world-level opponents listed above, he has always made a good account of himself, which combined with his unique personality has made him a favourite among British fights fans.
In his previous few fights, he claimed a brilliant knockout win against Liverpudlian David Price, before losing his last two contests first via split decision and then in the rematch by unanimous decision to the former WBO champion Joseph Parker. The rematch against Pulev offers Chisora another chance to prove he belongs at the world level and to keep his hopes of challenging for a world title again alive.
Kubrat Pulev is also in the late stages of his career. At 41 years-old the Bulgarian holds a record of 29 wins and two defeats. Like Chisora, Pulev has had a long career and is not unfamiliar to top-level opposition. As well as his victory over Chisora in 2016, he has notable victories against gatekeeper of the division American Kevin Johnson, Hughie Fury who is the cousin of current WBC world champion Tyson Fury and also the Romanian contender Bogdan Dinu. His two defeats came in world title challenges at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko in 2014 and Anthony Joshua in December of 2020, both by knockout. Since this loss to Joshua, Pulev has managed to somewhat rebuild with a win over Jerry Forrest on 14 May in Inglewood, California. While against rudimentary opposition, this recent win will likely fill Pulev with confidence heading into a fight which is crucial to continuing his career as a top heavyweight.
Betting Odds and Where to Watch
With the fight’s outcome set to have major implications for both men’s careers, Chisora and Pulev are likely to bring their best performances to the rematch. Chisora is the favourite among the bookmakers, with current odds sitting at 21/10 for a Chisora victory and 9/4 for Pulev.
The event will be broadcasted on streaming service DAZN with the main card starting at 7pm in London (2pm eastern time in the United States) and the main event between the heavyweights starting at 10pm GMT (5pm ET) on Saturday 9 July.