Hughie Fury's hopes held a fight against the undefeated world champion Anthony Joshua, only a dream. Fury was defeated by Kubrat Pulev in a final IBF heavyweight elimination match in Sofia, Bulgaria, Saturday (10/27/2018) evening local time.

Fury, 24, suffered severe facial injuries in the second half, which made Pulev, 37, dominate in a 12-round battle. Pulev, who played his first match for 18 months, won a unanimous decision. The judges won Pulev with absolute numbers 117-111, 118-110, 115-113.

Now Pulev is IBF's number 1 contender for world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Pulev (26-1, 13 knockouts) now hopes to be ahead for Joshua's next fight at Wembley Stadium on April 13.

For Fury (21-2, 11 knockouts), this was his second defeat in more than a year, after he lost a point against Joseph Parker to the WBO world title in September last year in New Zealand.

Fury, cousin of former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, had to experience eyelid tears in the second round, which made his appearance fade after a promising start. Pulev landed a solid left jab that made the Fury's left eyelid bleed at the end of the second half. Referee Albert Earl Brown asked doctors in the ring to see Fury's wound.

While in London, John Ryder defeated Andrey Sirotkin in the WBA super middleweight title. The British boxer stopped Russian Sirotkin, 33, in the seventh round. Also in London, Ted Cheeseman defeated Asinia Byfield with a unanimous decision for an empty British super-welter belt. The judges scored 117-110 and 117-111.