Heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev was reinstated by the California State Athletic Commission in a 6-0 vote at a meeting in San Diego on Monday following his suspension in May for kissing a female reporter on the lips without her consent.
Following a seventh-round knockout victory over Bogdan Dinu on March 23 in an ESPN-televised main event in Costa Mesa, California, Pulev did a video interview with the Vegas Sports Daily's Jennifer Ravalo -- also known as Jennifer Sushe -- after which he kissed her on the lips, much to her surprise.
Ravalo hired celebrity attorney Gloria Allred and threatened legal action. In May, the California commission suspended Pulev over the incident, fined him $2,500 and ordered him to complete a course on sexual harassment before he could reapply on Monday.
Pulev (27-1, 14 KOs), 38, of Bulgaria, apologized to Ravalo at the May meeting and went on to comply with the commission's directive.
"It was good hearing. Everybody's side was heard again and the bottom line is Kubrat Pulev has complied over and above what was requested of him," Ivaylo Gotzev of Epic Sports, which co-promotes Pulev with Top Rank, told ESPN. "The more important part is Kubrat Pulev wants to do more in the future. The whole world has an opinion on this situation and we want to educate and show by example how things should be handled and how athletes should behave.
"This was a lesson well learned and now we want to help others not make a mistake like this one. Kubrat is a great person and wants to help others. He's going to educate others how they should act in these situations."
Pulev is the mandatory challenger for one of the world titles held by Andy Ruiz Jr., who knocked out Anthony Joshua in the seventh round in a massive upset on June 1 to win three belts. Ruiz is supposed to meet Joshua in a rematch this fall.
"Kubrat has been training over the past few months," Gotzev said. "He is the No. 1 mandatory contender for the IBF belt and now it's time for us to demand the opportunity to fight for the belt against the current champion Andy Ruiz."
Gotzev and Epic Sports partner John Wirt are due to meet with Top Rank chairman Bob Arum later on Monday to discuss the next move for Pulev now that he is free to fight again.
"We're meeting with Arum to talk about different proposals and we'll see what he's got," Wirt told ESPN. "Maybe we will go the IBF route and it could be Ruiz. Maybe a fight with Tyson Fury could be in the mix. You never know."
Pulev has won seven fights in a row since he challenged then-unified world champion Wladimir Klitschko as a mandatory opponent in November 2014 and suffered a fifth-round knockout loss.