Boxing News At Five

Boxing News at Five: Pulev says kiss-gate has been blown out of proportion, Frampton wants Santa Cruz next

Kubrat Pulev
Action Images
Kubrat Pulev claims the reporter he kissed at the weekend is a friend of his, while Carl Frampton would like to renew acquaintances with Leo Santa Cruz

THIS past weekend, Kubrat Pulev kissed a girl and he liked it. The rest of the world, however, most certainly did not.

Pulev, 37, has faced some serious backlash for kissing reporter Jenny Sushe of the Vegas Sports Daily following his stoppage win over Bogdan Dinu on Saturday (March 23) and, such is the nature of social media, been labelled everything from “alpha” and a “scholar” to “gross”, a “sleaze”, a “creep”,  and a “predator” as a result of the one-minute video going viral. Some said it was another black eye for boxing. Others called it “sexual assault”.

We have yet to hear Sushe’s side of the story but Pulev today insisted the two of them are friends and that the kiss, while clearly unexpected [based on Sushe’s reaction], was in the spirit of this friendship.

“You may have seen a clip of me kissing a female reporter following an interview after I won my fight Saturday night,” said Pulev in a statement. “The reporter, Jenny, is actually a friend of mine. And after the interview, I was so elated, I gave her a kiss.

“Later that night, she joined me and my other friends at my post-fight celebration. On the video, after our kiss, we both laughed about it and thanked each other.

“There really is nothing more to this.”

If this is true, we might all be guilty of turning the incident into something it is not. However, Mike Dixon of the Vegas Sports Daily, the outlet for which Sushe was working that night, released a statement of his own hours prior to Pulev’s which appears to contradict the Bulgarian’s carefree stance on the matter and thickens the plot somewhat.

On March 23, 2019 following the match between Kubrat Pulev and Bogdan Dinu, one of our contributors, Jenny Sushe was the victim of an unwanted, unexpected and unsolicited forceful kiss by Kubrat Pulev as she was attempting to conduct an interview with him following the match.

We are working around the clock with Jenny Sushe, and Pulev’s management team to further investigate the matter. To determine appropriate steps/actions following this unfortunate event.

We want to be clear that Vegas Sports Daily values the safety and well-being of our contributors above any ratings, clicks and revenue.

Also, we pride ourselves on providing journalists who share our love of sports and quality content the platform. And space to do a job they love, free of abuse or harassment.

What happened to Ms. Sushe was completely blindsiding and unwarranted and we share in her shock, hurt, embarrassment and general outrage.

Secondly, Vegas Sports Daily prides itself on being a platform that advocates for and values women. Their contribution to our publication and the sports industry itself.

We want to make it clear that women should feel safe. To feel comfortable to exercise the duties of their job, free of abuse, advances, harassment, etc in the workplace.

Ms. Sushe is a valued member of our contribution team. We do not condone the violation of the personal space of our contributors for any reason.

We stand firmly behind Ms. Sushe as we continue to resolve this matter.

We will be communicating further details as we uncover them.

Regrettably, as the story now runs and runs, inevitably becoming mainstream news, the only thing we know for certain is this: Kubrat Pulev, once a humdrum peripheral contender in the heavyweight division, will soon be more famous for a kiss than any one of his 27 ring victories and will, you can be sure of it, shortly find himself in a title fight because of this newfound notoriety. That’s boxing. These days, that’s life.

Anthony Joshua

Popular Irishman Carl Frampton toyed with the idea of retirement following an IBF featherweight title defeat to Josh Warrington in December but has decided to give it one last go and commit himself to securing another big fight.

As a former world champion at super-bantamweight and featherweight, Frampton should remain a valuable commodity in the nine-stone division and has set his sights on fights against the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, a Mexican with whom has split a couple of fights, Gary Russell Jr, the WBC champion, and Oscar Valdez, the WBO champion. Anything less than that simply won’t do.

“I have spoken to MTK about it and it is a difficult one,” Frampton told eir Sport. “I have said that I’m ready to fight guys like Leo Santa Cruz and Gary Russell and Oscar Valdez, too.

“I’m ready to go straight back in this summer. But there is a potential to have a fight first, which maybe wouldn’t be a bad thing, either. I am doing this because I still believe I can win a world title.

“I didn’t perform against Josh Warrington, I was comprehensively beaten. But I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think I could win a world title again.”

Frampton isn’t without options and would fancy his chances against any of the aforementioned. It is Santa Cruz, though, who most interests the former WBA featherweight champion of the world.

“Give me a choice of any of them,” said Frampton, “and I think I’d go for Santa Cruz because it is one each. That would make a lot of sense. But if I get the chance to have a crack at any champion again, I would.

“I have just fought Warrington and he has his mandatory with Kid Galahad is coming up. Santa Cruz could happen. Valdez could happen. Gary Russell, I don’t really know what is going on with him. I would be very happy to fight someone like Gary Russell, but he has been very quiet. Santa Cruz is probably the one I would take.”

Carl Frampton

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