Kubrat Pulev has been suspended by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) for forcibly kissing a female reporter on the lips.
The Bulgarian heavyweight contender, who is in line to face Anthony Joshua as his IBF mandatory challenger, left Jennifer ‘SuShe’ Ravalo “humiliated.”
The CSAC have described the incident as “disgusting,” with Ravalo taking legal action against the boxer. Lawyer Gloria Allred said his actions were “unwelcome and unlawful.”
A CSAC statement read: “Before he will be licensed to fight in California again, boxer Kubrat Pulev must appear in front of the commission and demonstrate that he will conform to this principle of respect.”
Ravalo said in her own statement: “Mid-interview he grabbed my face and kissed me. I was immediately shocked and embarrassed, and didn’t know how to respond.
“Next, I walked to the table to put my items in my backpack. He grabbed both of my buttocks and squeezed with both of his hands. Then he walked away without saying anything to me and laughed.
“It made me feel uncomfortable and frustrated that Kubrat Pulev would treat me in such an unprofessional manner. 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. No woman should be treated this way.”
Pulev denied Ravalo took offence, insisting they were friends, despite only meeting the day before.
“The reporter, Jenny, is actually a friend of mine,” said Pulev. “And after the interview, I was so elated, I gave her a kiss.
“Later that night, she joined me and my other friends at my post-fight celebration.”