Boxer who kissed journalist without consent has to complete sex harassment counseling before he gets back into the ring
The boxer who grabbed and kissed a reporter without her consent after an interview post-match will not be able to box again until he seeks sexual harassment counseling, according to the California State Athletic Commission's ruling. The boxer, Kubrat Pulev, is also required to pay a fine of $2,500 fine by the commission. The fine is the maximum allowed by the state.
The commission made the decision on Tuesday in a meeting in Los Angeles with a 6-0 vote.
Pulev's license has been suspended since March 26. On March 24, the boxer had kissed reporter Jenny Sushe after winning a fight against Bogdan Dinu in Costa Mesa. Sushe, who is a reporter for Las Vegas Sports Daily, also accused the boxer of squeezing her behind and laughing as he left the interview.
The commission's executive director, Andy Foster, in a statement said: "CSAC has demonstrated that it will not stand for the denigration of women in the sports community." He added that the boxer must complete a commission-approved sexual harassment prevention class and another program offered by the Association of Women in Sports Media.
"Once complete, Mr. Pulev can come before the Commission in July to demonstrate that he can conform to principles of respect," Foster added, according to CNN.
Pulev's license will remain suspended until July 22, the day he is scheduled to appear before the commission in San Diego. If the Bulgarian boxer does not meet the requirements put forth by the commission, his license could be suspended until March 2020. Commission spokesperson MattnWoodcheke said that Pulev will be required to reapply for his license annually.
The spokesperson added that if the boxer engages in similar behavior again, he could be suspended for life.
Sushe's attorney Gloria Allred applauded the commission's decision, however, she added that her client would have preferred a longer suspension for the boxer. "This action sends an important message to him and to other boxers that the California Athletic Commission will take quick action to suspend boxers who sexually harass members of the public in California and that sexual harassment will not be tolerated in our state," Allred said.
Pulev released a statement on Twitter saying he and Sushe are friends and that they both laughed off the kiss. He also added that Sushe later joined him and his friends at a victory party later that evening. "There really is nothing more to this," he added.
Sushe, however, disputed the claim saying that they are not friends and that she had met him only the day before the fight for a pre-fight interview. "I did not encourage or consent to Mr. Pulev grabbing my face, kissing me, or grabbing my backside," Sushe said.
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