Kubrat Pulev's U.S. debut was a success as he defeated Bogdan Dinu in the main event.
Pulev dominated Dinu, stopping him in the seventh round keep his win streak alive on an ESPN-televised fight. The fight took place in Costa Mesa, California and it was Pulev's first fight since signing a promotional deal with Top Rank Boxing.
The 37-year-old Pulev overcame a cut above his left eye during the fight and controlled the action throughout the fight. Pulev first dropped Dinu in the seventh round, but was deducted a point hitting Dinu in the back of the head as he was down. Although Dinu was able to recover from the first knockdown, Pulev ended the fight with two more knockdowns later in the round, forcing the referee to step in and stop the fight.
Even though Pulev is the mandatory challenger to Anthony Joshua's IBF heavyweight title, the fact that Joshua is fighting Jarrell Miller in June and that the IBF has yet to hint that it will enforce a Joshua vs. Pulev fight anytime soon means that Pulev won't get that title shot for a long while. Pulev does have his sights set on another heavyweight, however: Oscar Rivas.
The two were once Olympic rivals with Rivas picking up the win over Pulev in the 2008 Olympics. After Rivas defeated former title challenger Bryant Jennings back in January, Pulev wants a shot to avenge his loss to Rivas from their amateur days.
"After this, we want Oscar Rivas. We fought at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Rivas won that fight in a decision, and it still torments me. I want that fight bad and am asking Top Rank to do it. I saw what Rivas did to Jennings, but Rivas will pay the price for doing what he did to me at the Olympics," Pulev said.
In the co-main event of the ESPN card, former WBO super bantamweight champion Jessie Magdaleno moved up to featherweight and defeated Rico Ramos to win the WBC USNBC title. Magdaleno won the fight by unanimous decision with scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93.