Heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev has come out swinging at the recent allegations by a female reporter, who last week made headlines after a video captured Bulgarian kissing her during an interview.
Reporter Jennifer Ravalo, also known as Jennifer SuShe, interviewed Pulev after his 27th victory in a fight against Bogdan Dinu in Costa Mesa, Calif., on March 23.
After answering a question, Pulev – seemingly out of the blue – gave her a kiss.
On Thursday, Ravalo appeared with high-profile attorney Gloria Allred and called for Pulev’s license to be suspended. She also called on the California State Athletics Commission to investigate the incident.
“He grabbed both of my buttocks and squeezed with both of his hands. Then he walked away without saying anything to me and laughed,” Ravalo told reporters.
“I did not encourage or consent to Mr. Pulev grabbing my face, kissing me, or grabbing my backside. I was there at the event covering the boxing match as a professional member of the press. Kissing a woman on her lips without her consent and grabbing her is not acceptable.”
The reporter said Pulev invited her to a party later on where he allegedly asked her to “remove the kiss from the interview.” She said she refused to and posted it instead.
The California State Athletic Commission [CSAC] suspended his license, until he appears before them to explain what happened. The next hearing is slated to for May 14 and Ravalo plans to attend.
Pulev denies grabbing her buttocks and said Ravalo was clinging on to him and his team for days.
“I’m not at fault and during the course of my career I’ve already had tens of of thousands interviews. Everyone knows me as a friendly and polite person. The woman came to me during the weigh-in and said, ‘after the fight we’ll party.’ That’s not true [that I grabbed her buttocks]. And by the way: This woman is not my type. I’m not afraid, I also have videos if necessary,” Pulev said to German daily BILD.
“After the fight, she then came to our hotel lobby for a party. She was happy, laughed and made a lot of compliments. Tell me that I’m the best, the most handsome.”
There was a video already released by Pulev’s team, which showed Ravalo at the party and appearing to be in a very good mood as she sat on a team member’s lap. There were also photos of her with team members, including Pulev’s younger brother.
Veteran trainer Ulli Wegner (76) backed up his fighter’s version of the events.
“I was right next to it. It was after the fight. Kubrat was interviewed by a pretty, very friendly young woman. Yes, and then he gave her a kiss. That was out of the emotion. The claim that Pulev had caught her buttocks is not true,” Wegner said.