Kubrat Pulev knows he must beat Tony Thompson to stay on course for a title shot
Kubrat Pulev believes his shot at the world title will come as he prepares to take on Tony Thompson on Saturday.
Last Updated: 21/08/13 7:20pm
The two unfashionable heavyweights clash in what amounts to a final eliminator for the IBF version of the title, held like all the others bar the WBC by Wladimir Klitschko.
Thompson, twice defeated by Klitschko in the past but riding his confidence after two stoppage victories over David Price, fancies his chances of another upset against the unbeaten Bulgarian.
But Pulev, who has ditched his European strap to take on the American, knows he cannot slip up with a shot at the champion beckoning in 2014.
"I must beat him," Pulev admitted. "Afterwards, nobody will be able to talk about a worthy world title challenger without mentioning my name.
"My aim is to become world champion. I guess (other fighters) have a fear of losing against me. Maybe these fighters see an easier chance to get a big fight.
"I have no problem with that, because I just want to go toe-to-toe with fighters who have an ambition to go up with the best and Tony Thompson is definitely someone like that."