SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev, who will meet Briton Hughie Fury in October in a fight to decide the challenger for the International Boxing Federation’s (IBF) world heavyweight title, has terminated his contract with German promoter Team Sauerland.
“Everything happened 10 days ago,” the 37-year-old Pulev, will make his much-anticipated comeback after an absence of a year and a half in Sofia on Oct. 27, said on Thursday. “I paid $150,000 because of the early termination of the contract.”
The fight against Fury, which will decide the challenger for the IBF title held by Briton Anthony Joshua, will be Pulev’s first since April 2017 when he beat American veteran Kevin Johnson in Sofia.
“We pursue different interests and we have a diufferent ideology,” Pulev said. “I think everyone should pursue his goals in his own way and that’s good for all. And I had to pay for it.”
Team Sauerland, founded in 1978, signed a contract extension with Pulev in early 2015, which was due to expire at the end of the year. Team Sauerland’s office said it could not confirm the contract termination when contacted by Reuters.
Tensions had built up between Pulev and Team Sauerland over the last year as the Bulgarian strongly criticised the promoter for the way it has handled his challenge with Joshua.
Pulev pulled out of fighting Joshua in October last year after suffering a shoulder injury. Joshua, who also holds the WBA, IBO and WBO titles, went on to beat his replacement Carlos Takam.
Hughie Fury is a cousin of former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
The IBF has ordered Pulev to face Briton Dillian Whyte and American Jarell Miller to decide a title challenger but the two turned down the fights, angering the Bulgarian.
Known as The Cobra, he previously challenged for the IBF world heavyweight title in 2014, losing to Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg on a fifth-round knockout. Since then, Pulev has won five fights in a row.
(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Christian Radnedge)