SAN DIEGO — Officials have agreed to lift the suspension of a Bulgarian boxer who kissed a reporter without her consent during a post-fight interview after he completed a sexual harassment course and paid a $2,500 fine.
The California State Athletic Commission voted unanimously Monday to allow Kubrat Pulev to reapply for his license with the caveat that future offenses would result in a lifetime ban from fighting in North America.
Pulev was suspended in March after he grabbed Jenny Ravalo's head in his hands and planted a kiss on her lips following his knockout of Bogdan Dinu. He apologized to Ravalo. He said it was not sexual but an emotional reaction to his victory.
Ravalo said that's not OK. She said she has been cyber-bullied by thousands for speaking up.
Attorney Gloria Allred, with reporter Jenny Ravalo by her side, spoke following the commission's hearing and commented on the Commission’s decision not to sanction Bob Arum of Top Rank, who represents Pulev.
“Mr. Arum spoke on an interview that he didn’t believe a 6’4”, 250-pound boxer grabbing the face of a 5’2” reporter and forcibly kissing her with his bloody mouth is sexual harassment. I would like to see if he would think differently if a large bloody man did the same to him,” Ravalo said in a statement to reporters.
After the California Athletic Commission decided at their last meeting that Pulev’s boxing license would continue to be suspended until he took an approved course on sexual harassment and appeared before the Commission on July 22, Mr. Arum did an interview on video in which he argued that his fighter Pulev’s kiss of Ms. Ravalo was not sexual harassment and in which he stated that prior to the fight, Ms. Ravalo was acting as Mr. Pulev’s “semi-girlfriend,” Allred said.
Allred said she and Ms. Ravalo stated to the Commission previously that the kiss was unwelcome and that Ms. Ravalo was not in a romantic relationship with Mr. Pulev.
Mr. Arum was not in attendance at the hearing in San Diego on Monday.