SAN DIEGO (AP) — Officials on Monday lifted 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 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 before the commission voted. He said it was not sexual but an emotional reaction to his victory.
Ravalo said that’s not OK. She said she has been bullied online by thousands for speaking up and been slandered by Pulev’s agent, Bob Arum of Top Rank.
“Mr. Arum cares little about sexual harassment at all,” Ravalo told the commission before the vote, noting that he recently said he did not believe “that a 6-foot-4, 250-pound boxer grabbing the face of a 5-foot-2 reporter and forcibly kissing her with his bloody mouth was sexual harassment. I would like to see if he would think differently if a large, bloody man did the same to him without his consent.”
Her lawyer, Gloria Allred, asked the commission to sanction Pulev and Arum.
In response, the commission said Arum also participated in a sexual harassment remediation class with Pulev and appeared to have learned something.
Pulev agreed to participate in a video campaign about sexual harassment that the commission is considering doing. He said it would be important for people to know that such behavior is not correct “because a lot of people like me don’t know.”