By Per Ake Persson
Earlier this week, Sauerland´s matchmaker Hagen Doering got the call from Hamburg that Taras Bidenko, the opponent for IBF I/C heavyweight champ Kubrat Pulev, had been cut in sparring and had to withdraw from the fight, set for the undercard to Arthur Abraham and Robert Stieglitz doubleheader on January 14 in Offenburg.
In on a little more than a week´s notice comes experienced Brit Michael Sprott - last seen in Germany losing a fight for the EBU title against Alexander Dimitrenko.
On Pulev´s less than stellar performances in his last few fights and especially against Travis Walker, Doering said he was relatively satisfied. Against Walker, Kubrat was fighting a 12-rounder for the first time and was worried about lasting the distance. Another thing is that Kubrat had an opponent in Walker who only came to win by knockout and didn´t worry about winning rounds and that makes it difficult.
In Sprott the undefeated Pulev, 14-0, gets a tough test. Michael tends to wait a little too much in his fights but he's fought at a high level for a long time and always did well despite a mixed record (36-17).