Hughie Fury v Kubrat Pulev: Fighting on the road won't faze Team Fury
Hughie Fury has been written off by most as he travels to Sofia but Betfair's boxing man Frankie Monkhouse rates his chances...
"Pulev is a tough man to beat – as can be seen from his record – but he is beatable, certainly at 37, and it’s worth taking a chance on the underdog."
Hughie looking to upset the odds
Tyson Fury may have been making headlines for his heavyweight antics in the run-up to a December meeting with knockout king Deontay Wilder, but on Saturday evening in Sofia it'll be the Gypsy King's cousin Hughie Fury with the chance to upset the odds and drive himself towards the big time.
Arena Armeec may not be amongst the most famous fight venues but there Fury will meet local hero Kubrat Pulev in a bout scheduled for 12 rounds. Both men will be hoping to collect the win needed to push themselves into contention for a shot at Anthony Joshua, but there's only room for one.
Fury better than domestic level
Despite being only 24 years old, Fury brings a 21-1-0 record and has already mixed it at world championship level. The 6'6" orthodox's only defeat to date came at the hands of then WBO ruler Joseph Parker at the Manchester Arena last summer.
A majority decision was the final verdict, and some thought the Englishman had done enough to edge it. Many more had it marked down as a decent effort, the challenger failing to do enough to rip the belt from the champion in what was an edgy contest from the first bell.
Fury bounced back to winning ways at the first time of asking and he wasted no time with a warm-up opponent, beating British champion Sam Sexton inside five rounds in May. Followers of the domestic scene will tell you the beaten man is a capable fighter, Hughie proving he is already way beyond that level.
Despite an inside the distance win - the 11th of his career - punters don't seem overly impressed and there's [2.28] on the Betfair Exchange for an away win. Another
Pulev is not a man to be taken lightly
Boxing fans with their finger on the pulse of the heavyweight category will be all too familiar with Kubrat Pulev and the danger he poses in this fight. Despite being 37 years old the Bulgarian remains competitive at the top level and has beaten Kevin Johnson, Samuel Peter and Dereck Chisora in his last three. With a record standing at 25-1-0, there's no one in the game who takes The Cobra lightly.
The 6'4" local's spare defeat came against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014 and, of course, there's absolutely no shame in that result. Dr Steelhammer was at the height of his powers going into the contest and, despite a brave performance from his opponent, the Ukrainian dished out a fifth-round stoppage at the 02 World Arena, Altona.
Since going down to Klitschko, Pulev has fought five, won five with three of those coming on the scorecards. He nicked a split decision over 'Del Boy' Chisora for a European title in Hamburg, forced Samuel Peter to retire in three at this venue, before securing a comfortable points win vs American Kevin Johnson last time, again in Sofia. The Exchange has Kubrat [1.85] to win again.
Underdog has plenty of improving in him
Hughie Fury will know just how close he came to being crowned world champion when in with Parker but when watching the fight back he'll also surely admit he had more to give and shouldn't have left the decision to chance. He's still very young for a heavyweight but is a real prospect and, with the big fight experience behind him, it's only a matter of time before he's winning major honours.
Pulev is a tough man to beat - as can be seen from his record - but he is beatable, certainly at 37, and it's worth taking a chance on the underdog. Fury must build on the Parker performance but there seems to be plenty of improving left in him and, away from the pressure of fighting at home, he can score a famous win. Boxing on the road won't faze him or his team but he must get a fair deal from the judges as stopping Kubrat is a big ask.
Fury win @ [2.28] (Betfair Exchange)