Lineal heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko, who also owns three of the major alphabet titles, will put them all on the line when he makes his mandatory defense against Kubrat Pulev on Saturday (HBO, 4:45 p.m. ET/PT) at the O2 World arena in Hamburg, Germany.
Pulev, however, will be competing for only the IBF belt, for which he is the mandatory challenger, according to Klitschko manager Bernd Boente and the WBO.
Pulev (20-0, 11 KOs) has elected not pay sanctioning fees for the WBO and WBA belts (as well as the minor IBO belt), so he will not be eligible to win them. Of course, if he beats Klitschko, Pulev would claim the lineal title and the IBF belt. The others would become vacant.
Klitschko (62-3, 53 KOs) is paying his sanctioning fees and officially defending all of his belts.
Pulev is due to earn a career-high $1,450,026, his 20 percent share of K2 Promotions’ winning purse bid of $7,250,131. By paying a sanctioning fee only to the IBF, Pulev will save substantial money, which is perhaps not a bad move considering he is such a heavy underdog to Klitschko, who will be making his 17th title defense.