Sure Boxing Hall of Famer Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins takes on Sergey Kovalev in a rare unification bout in the light heavyweight division on Saturday night at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. This will be B-hop’s comeback fight on HBO. Here’s my Hopkins vs Kovalev Preview and Prediction.
Hopkins (55-6-2, KO 32) is two months shy from his 50th birthday on Jan. 15 next year. I don’t want to elaborate further how old Hopkins is. But if you want to know more what is there and what is not there when Hopkins was born almost 50 years ago, please follow this link here.
Well, Hopkins, will again try to beat his own record as the oldest fighter to ever win a world championship. This distinction, he first set, when he defeated Jean Pascal at age 46. He surpassed that record when he also defeated Tavoris Cloud at age 48. On November 8, he will once again try to break his own record. But there’s one man standing on that feat — the Russian “Krusher” Kovalev.
Kovalev (25-0-1, KO 23) is one of the feared fighters of the sport. He possessed an eye popping 88 percent knockout percentage. The only dent on his record is a draw against Grover Young in 2011, due to accidental foul. Only two opponents heard the final bell against the 31 year old Kovalev. Darnell Boone and Karen Avetisyan were the two lucky fighters who were able reached the final round when Kovalev met them in 2010.
In my prediction, I tried to eliminate the age factor. Yes, Hopkins is old. I agree. But his age doesn’t show in the ring. And Kovalev knows about it. “Fifty is just a number. I think nothing of his age. If he was old he would be retired, but he’s still in there. He’s not an old man, he’s a young alien”, says Kovalev during the Brooklyn media workout. Hopkins is always in a superb condition because of the discipline he imposed in his lifestyle. What I put more weight here, is his experience, his in-and-out-of-rule-book-tricks and of course his overall skill as a fighter. Hence, this bout is about Hopkins experience and ring savvies versus Kovalev’s punching power and patience.
I’m not taking away Kovalev’s skills as a fighter. He had a great amateur career. And if you want to know more about that click here. But certainly, his punching power is what made him one of the feared fighters in the sport. It’s his punching power that carried him up to this point of his career. The same way goes to Hopkins in terms of his ring craftiness and defense.
Now, if the above factors collide at times, punching power can be disarm. Look how Chris Algiere disarmed Ruslan’s Provodnikov’s power. Look how Floyd Mayweather Jr. negated Marcos Maidana’s power.
But the puncher has always the chance throughout the fight, as it takes only one punch to turn everything in favor of the puncher. Look at how Alexander Povetkin’s power carried the night against a more athletic Takam. Look at Hasim Rahman’s power froze Lennox Lewis.
This is what made this bout so intriguing, exciting and difficult to predict. But what to do this is just a prediction, then so be it, let me predict. Hopkins by decision.