A sport reporter who was kissed mid-interview by heavyweight boxer Kubrat Pulev has launched legal action against the fighter.
Pulev, 37, lunged at Vegas Sports Daily reporter Jennifer Ravalo having just beaten Romania’s Bogdan Dinu in California on March 23.
Ms Ravalo, also known as Jennifer SuShe, is taking action against the Bulgarian boxer for the incident, which she says left her ‘shocked and embarrassed’.
In a news conference, she said: “I asked Kubrat for a post-fight interview and he said yes. I started the interview and mid-interview he grabbed my face and kissed me.
“I was immediately shocked and embarrassed and I did not know how to respond. Next I walked to a table to put my items in my backpack.
“He grabbed both of my buttocks and squeezed with both of his hands, then he walked away without saying anything to me and laughed.
“I did not remove it [the kiss], and instead I posted it, because I wanted people to see what he had done to me.”
Pulev, a two-time European heavyweight boxer, came under heavy criticism by people online after the original incident, with Ms Ravalo calling the kiss ‘strange’ later on Twitter.
One fan on Twitter called for ‘dire consequences’, while another called it ‘damn right disrespectful’ and went on to support the reporter’s professionalism.
Others criticised the use of ‘alpha af’, a term which the NBT Boxing account, from who the video was widely shared, used to describe the video.
On Tuesday, Pulev launched a defence of his actions by claiming the two were ‘friends’.
“You may have seen a clip of me kissing a female reporter after I won my fight on Saturday night,” he wrote on Twitter.
For the most commented kiss in the world! pic.twitter.com/T1Ktlprff4
— Kubrat Pulev (@KubratPulev) March 26, 2019
“The reporter, Jenny is actually a friend of mine and after the interview, I gave her a kiss.
“Later that night she joined me and my other friends at my post-fight celebration — after our kiss we both laughed about it and thanked each other.
“There is really nothing more to this.”
But Ms Ravalo said she hopes Gloria Allred – the high-profile lawyer she has hired – can ‘help impose consequences’ on the Bulgarian boxer.
She said: “I did not encourage or consent to Mr Pulev grabbing my face, kissing me, or grabbing my backside. I was there at the event covering the boxing match as a professional member of the press.
“Kissing a woman on the lips without her consent and grabbing her is not acceptable.
“What he did to me was disgusting, I felt humiliated.
“No woman should be treated this way.”