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Bulgarian boxer suspended, fined for kissing Fil-Am broadcaster

LOS ANGELES – A Bulgarian boxer who grabbed a female broadcaster’s face and kissed her on the lips during a post-fight interview was suspended until July by the California State Athletic Commission on Tuesday following tearful testimony by the interviewer.

Kubrat Pulev, a heavyweight contender known as “The Cobra,” was also ordered during a commission hearing to attend sexual harassment prevention classes and pay a $ 2,500 fine before he can fight again in the state of California.

Pulev, who has only one loss in 27 fights, grabbed Jennifer Ravalo’s face and kissed her in the middle of a live interview moments after knocking out Romania’s Bogdan Dinu in the seventh round of a March fight in Costa Mesa, California.

Video of the incident can be seen here:

One of Bulgaria’s most popular sportsmen, Pulev apologized for his actions during the hearing as his girlfriend, the Bulgarian pop star Andrea, sat behind him, wearing dark glasses.

Attorneys for Pulev said that the fighter had got caught up in the moment following his big win and “didn’t have his wits about him” when he kissed the reporter.

Pulev and his lawyers argued in the hearing that Ravalo did not appear to be very upset about the incident because she joined the boxer and his team at a post-match celebration later that night.

But Ravalo said in tearful testimony that Pulev also grabbed her buttocks off-camera following the interview, leaving her feeling humiliated, and has not apologized in the two months since.

She earlier said she was invited to the party where “there was an opportunity to interview more fighters.” 

She added that Pulev joined late in the night and then asked her to remove the kiss from the interview.

“I did not remove it and instead posted it because I wanted people to see what he had done to me. I wanted him to be accountable,” she said in a statement read out at a press conference.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.

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