Kubrat Pulev is hoping to get a shot at either Wladimir Klitschko or Alexander Povetkin after beating Tony Thompson on Saturday night in Germany.
The Bulgarian defeated the 41-year old on points when a unanimous decision went his favour. The judges scored the bout 116-112, 118-110 and 117-111.
The victory ensures Pulev still remains unbeaten so far in his career after 18 professional fights and will now become the IBF’s mandatory challenger. He could get meet the champion as early as next year in a bout that is sure to excite fans who love to bet on boxing.
Thompson, who had stopped Britain’s David Price back in June, is likely to miss out on another world championship fight following the defeat, despite doing his reputation as one of the toughest fighters in the division no harm.
It was the American who actually started the better of the two boxers in the early rounds of the main event. However, Pulev stepped up his work rate from the fifth round and was hitting his shots cleaner.
The majority of the fight was fought from close range which meant neither man were able to strike a telling blow, making it tough for punters who were keen to use their in-play bet offer.
There was a few warning signs for the Bulgarian in the seventh round though, where Thompson landed a couple of solid shots onto his chin, but he recovered well to regain control in the final few round of the fight.
Earlier in the evening, Arthur Abraham picked up a points victory over Willbeforce Shihepo. The former WBO super-middleweight champion was beaten by Robert Stieglitz on his last outing, but the 33-year old was able to bounce back with the win over the journeyman.
There was also success for Juergen Braehmer who defended his European light-heavyweight belt. The German had to work but got the verdict by the judges after 12 tough rounds against Stefano Abatangelo.