By Jake Donovan
Kubrat Pulev is free and clear to resume his boxing career.
The heavyweight contender from Bulgaria saw his suspension lifted by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) after a review of his pending case during the agency's monthly agenda hearing Monday in Los Angeles, Calif.
The commission members voted unanimously (6-0) in favor of ending the administrative suspension previously in place for what was deemed improper conduct following his last fight this past March.
An initial ruling of a six-month suspension—from time served—was tabled during the commission hearing in May. The suspension prevented Pulev from fighting anywhere in North America until reinstatement of his boxing license, which is no longer an issue.
Upon appearing in front of the commission at Monday’s meeting, Pulev was required to have attended and completed sexual harassment training prior to applying for reinstatement of his boxing license. The commission deemed him having successfully competed such obligations.
Failure to do so would have resulted in his being suspended for 12 months and fined an additional $2,500.
Pulev made the headlines both in and out of the ring on March 23. A post-fight interview conducted after his ESPN-headlined 7th round knockout of Bogdan Dinu ended with the heavyweight kissing online reporter Jenny Ravalo (also known as “Jenny SuShe”) on the lips, a matter which the reporter insisted came without her consent.
“My actions were wrong,” Pulev (27-1, 14KOs) admitted during the May hearing, accompanied by his immediate team. “I do realize that I made a mistake. Not just because it was bad to do this on camera, but it set a bad example for how an athlete should conduct himself in public.”
The incident prompted the CSAC to issue an administrative suspension for violation of California Code of Regulations, title 4, section 390 issued on March 26, 2019.
Further muddying the waters was video footage released by a member of Pulev's team on March 30—showing Ravalo partying with said team in the early hours of March 24 and calling into question both her professionalism and her true intentions behind her filing a lawsuit against the boxer in addition to seeking full revocation of his boxing license.
The tactics helped distract the initial issue in question. Still, Pulev was repeatedly dressed down by the CSAC panel in May, highlighting his (team) releasing the video while he was already placed on administrative suspension by the commission.
Such actions were viewed as a pattern of his lack of professionalism from fight night.
Monday’s ruling allows him to return to the ring at his leisure. He presently serves as the mandatory challenger to the International Boxing Federation (IBF) title currently held by Andy Ruiz, who scored a shocking knockout upset of Anthony Joshua in June.
The two are on course for a rematch later this year. Pulev will take an interim fight sometime in the fall before heading into his second career title fight sometime in 2020. His previous attempt resulted in his lone career loss, a 5th round knockout to then-World champ Wladimir Klitschko in Nov. 2014.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox