Cuprat Pulev beats Jerry Forrest in 10 rounds after glove controversy


Kubrat Pulev and Jerry Forrest may go down in boxing history – but not for any positive reason.

Boliv, the heavyweight contender from Bulgaria, dominated Jerry Forrest of Louisiana to unanimously win the Sergei Kovalev-Tervel Boliv Trailer card to fight at the Kia Forum in Englewood, California.

The judges handed out scorecards 98-92, 99-91 and 99-91, all to the 41-year-old Boliv, who put his right hand of his own free will against Forrest, 34, who is often clumsy but tricky.

The 10-round heavyweight match was one-sided and largely pedestrian. But she is overshadowed by a strange and frustrating disaster that happened behind the scenes.

There was a significant delay of hours in the fight due to the discord in the locker room. The gloves Forrest chose didn’t fit in his hands, which prompted him to search for another pair that required Boliv’s approval. A representative from the California State Athletic Commission said they asked Forrest to remove his hand rolls to see if the gloves fit, but when doing so, Forrest still couldn’t get his hands inside the gloves.

After much deliberation, much to the dismay of spectators, the decision was made to allow Forrest to use Grant’s spare Pulev gloves, a brand popular with professional boxers.

“We’re lending our gloves to Jerry Forest,” Boliv promoter Ivailo Gutzev said during the trailer’s broadcast. “He’ll fight at Grants. We gave Jerry Forrest the biggest gloves ever made.”

When the fight finally started, both fighters entered the ring in a chorus of boos.

In the tenth round, Forrest came out on top. The submissive Pulev found it more difficult to land with his right hand. Forrest looked like Boliv was reeling with a sweeping shot. But Bolev returned to get a right of his own.

Forrest showed some courage in the ninth round, connecting on the straight left in Boliv. Halfway through the round, Boliv started bleeding from his left eye. Both fighters were sloppy and eager to hold on.

The Ring Doctor checked Forrest before the eighth round, but decided Forrest was still fit to continue the fight. Pulev went to batting practice on Forrest in the eighth round, and Forrest did nothing more than lean on the ropes. Forrest managed to swing Boliv briefly with a right hook before the end of the round.

On the seventh, Pulev continued to punish Forrest with the right hand. Forrest seemed to be walking asleep at times. With just over a minute left, Boliv shocked Forest by raising his right hand – but Forest somehow absorbed it. Then Boliv followed with several unanswered right hands. Boliv connected with his other emphatic right hand to finish the round.

Forrest started round six in better shape than he had in the previous two rounds, but he was still a sitting duck on Pulev’s right hands.

On the fifth, Bolev repeatedly found a home for his right hand. The weary Forrest looked increasingly disoriented. Boliv punctuated the round with another right-hand top cut.

Pulev took charge in the fourth round. He landed with a pair of stiff right hands in the first minute of the fourth round. Then Forrest was rightly stunned. The noticeably tired Forrest ate his other right hand. A minute earlier, Boliv unleashed a barrage of punches while Forrest was on the ropes. Pulev landed a right-handed triple to end the round. Forrest stumbled back to his corner, mouth shut.

In the third round, Forrest responded with a well-timed, straight left hand that seemed to be fixing Pulev’s knees. The Bulgarian was unhurt, and continued to put pressure on Forrest. Boliv connected on his right hand which supported Forrest in ropes. This was followed by Boliv with a right overhead line, resulting in a brief exchange at the end of the round.

The second round started similarly to the first. However, as a minute passed, Boliv made contact with his hard right hand that caught Forrest’s attention, causing him to grab him.

In the opening round, Forrest and Pulev traded, with Pulev pressing the action. Forrest connected to the left hard and halfway body.

This was Boliv’s first fight since losing in the ninth round of stoppage time to unified heavyweight captain Anthony Joshua in 2020 at Wembley Arena in London, England.

Forrest was emerging from a controversial tie against heavyweight contender and Olympic champion Michael Hunter last December in a fight that many observers thought Forrest should have won.

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