Kubrat Pulev has been suspended by the Californian State Athletic Commission until July and ordered to attend a sexual harassment prevention class after grabbing a female reporter by the face and kissing her on the lips.
The Bulgarian boxer attended a CSAC hearing on Tuesday to listen to a tearful testimony by the interviewer, Jennifer Ravalo, following the incident after a boxing match in March.
Pulev, a heavyweight contender known as “The Cobra,” was was given a four-month suspension backdated to the incident and ordered to attend sexual harassment prevention classes and pay a $2,500 fine before he can fight again in the state of California.
Pulev, who has only one loss in 27 fights, grabbed Ms Ravol’s face and kissed her in the middle of a live interview moments after knocking out Romania’s Bogdan Dinu in the seventh round of a March fight in Costa Mesa, California.
One of Bulgaria’s most popular sportsmen, Pulev apologised for his actions during the hearing as his girlfriend, the Bulgarian pop star Andrea, sat behind him, wearing dark glasses.
Pulev and his lawyers argued in the hearing that Ravalo did not appear to be very upset about the incident because she joined the boxer and his team at a post-match celebration later that night.
But Ravalo said in tearful testimony that Pulev also grabbed her buttocks off-camera following the interview, leaving her feeling humiliated, and has not apologised in the two months since.
“I did not want him to kiss me,” Ravalo said.